League's leader Matteo Salvini meets people during a campaign rally in Comacchio, Italy. File photo/AP
Italians vote Sunday in a key regional election which the far-right hopes will shake the country's fragile coalition government to its core and return strongman Matteo Salvini to power.
The wealthy centre-north region of Emilia Romagna has been a stronghold of the Italian left for over 70 years, but while left-wing values still hold sway in its cities, the right has been rallying serious support in towns and the countryside.
The last polls published before the pre-election media blackout showed the anti-immigrant League neck-and-neck with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which governs Italy in coalition with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S).
Some 3.5 million citizens are eligible to cast ballots to elect the region's president between 7am (0600 GMT) and 11pm, alongside similar regional elections in the smaller southern region of Calabria.
The League hopes for a repeat of its historic win in October in Umbria, which had been a left-wing fiefdom for 50 years.
Its candidate in Emilia Romagna, Lucia Borgonzoni, 43, has been overshadowed by Salvini, who has held daily rallies and inundated social media with snaps of him sampling delicacies in the Parma ham and Parmesan cheese heartland.
Salvini infuriated the left Saturday by breaking the pre-election silence -- which under Italian law means candidates cannot campaign the day before a vote -- by tweeting about the "eviction notice" he was set to deliver to the government.
The PD's candidate Stefano Bonaccini is the incumbent president and is hoping to win for his track record in the region, which boasts low jobless figures and is home to "Made in Italy" success stories such as Ferrari and Lamborghini.
He may also benefit from the youth-driven Sardines movement, which was born in the region just a couple of months ago but has fast become a national symbol of protest against the far-right.
But analysts say many local family-run, artisanal firms are disgruntled and feeling left behind by the march of globalisation.Others say the traditional left has abandoned those it once sought to defend for big banking interests.
Indonesian authorities warned on Thursday against unrest as a firebrand ex-general rejected unofficial election results that appeared to hand President Joko Widodo another term as leader of the world’s third-biggest democracy.
More than 100 million people across seven states are eligible to vote in the sixth phase of the 39-day-long poll, which Modi began on April 11 as front-runner after an escalation of tension with neighbouring Pakistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday made a passionate appeal to the millennial generation exhorting them to select the nation above everything else while exercising their first-ever vote in the 2019 elections. Addressing a rally at Ausa in this Marathwada district,
Within seconds, he was cowering on the ground surrounded by more than a dozen young men, who began beating him with wooden sticks and metal rods. Blood flowed from his head, spattering his clothes. The blows intensified. He thought he would die.
The price of Super 98 is to drop to Dhs2.16 per litre for March, down from Dhs2.24 in February, while the price of Special 95 is to drop to Dhs2.04 per litre for March, down from Dhs2.12 in February.
The annual fishing and trade ban on sharks, Arabian safi (emperor), and sheri (rabbitfish) will come into effect again this year from Sunday (March 1, 2020), coinciding with the spawning season of the fish.