Former Italian Mayor Domenico “Mimmo” Lucano has failed to win a seat in the Calabria regional election days after he was sentenced to 13 years in prison for aiding illegal migration and fraud.
Mr Lucano presented the electoral candidate list “Another Calabria is Possible” in the regional elections held on Monday, but failed to win a single seat as the candidate list was polled at just 2.3 per cent, well below the four per cent threshold to win seats in the regional chamber.
According to a report from the newspaper Il Giornale, Lucano received 9,779 personal preferences (votes for Lucano himself) and 18,000 votes for his electoral list, just 150 of which came from Riace, the town where he served as mayor and grew infamous for his aggressively pro-migrant policies.
The poor results come just days after the court of Locri found Lucano guilty of several charges including aiding illegal immigration, state fraud, embezzlement, and abuse of office and sentencing him to 13 years and two months in prison.
The court also ordered Lucano to pay back €500,000 (£427,588/$579,698) of cash that had been entrusted to him by the Italian government and the European Union, though he was alleged to have misused as much as €5 million (£4.28 million/$5.8 million) by prosecutors.
Pro-Migrant Ex-Italian Mayor Sentenced to 13 Years for Fraud, Aiding Illegal Migration, Abuse of Office https://t.co/uA36Kg9N6m
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Following the verdict and sentencing, pro-migrant NGOs defended Lucano, including Luca Casarini, who himself had been under investigation for aiding illegal migration in 2019 while heading the migrant taxi NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans.
Father Alex Zanotelli, a well-known pro-mass migration priest who once called populist Matteo Salvini the “antichrist” when Salvini served as Interior Minister and greatly reduced arrivals of illegal migrants, also joined the protest against the Lucano verdict, stating he would go on a hunger strike in response.
“I cried listening to the obscene sentence, which is usually reserved for murderers, mobsters, drug traffickers. This is a political process,” Zantonelli said and added that Lucano was simply guilty of the “crime of humanity.”
Despite the publicity and protests in support of Lucano, including one in Riace itself, voters were highly reluctant to support the convicted former mayor and instead voted for the centre-right coalition under Roberto Occhiuto, who won 54.6 per cent of the vote.
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