Comedian Grillo's M5S movement accused of lacking democracy

Councillor claims upstart party's No.2 is issuing diktats

Comedian Grillo's M5S movement accused of lacking democracy

(ANSA) - Roma, September 7 - Genovese gadfly comedian Beppe Grillo and his populist Five Star Movement (M5S) came under scrutiny on Friday after a regional councillor representing the party criticised its lack of democracy and said it risked explosion. Giovanni Favia, a regional councillor in Emilia Romagna, said in an off-the-record interview to a television talkshow recorded in May but broadcast on Thursday that "(Gianroberto) Casaleggio (co-founder and mastermind of M5S) is taking everyone for a ride because in our movement democracy does not exist. "So either they remove themselves or the movement will explode in their hands," he added. It is always Casaleggio who draws up the guidelines and decides what public initiatives to take, said Favia, suggesting that he also drew up the party lists in recent local elections. "The problem is that they have started a movement that might truly be a guiding light also on a global level if they could only go beyond the complicity of their proprietary system," he concluded. In a statement posted on Beppe Grillo's website Casaleggio denied all the charges against him. Favis subsequently justified his comments on Facebook, saying that "Now there are problems and we will work together to resolve them". M5S performed well in local regional municipal and regional elections in May and at the end of June polls gave it over 20% of popular support, making it Italy's second most popular party after the Democratic Party. However there gave been grumblings from parts of the movement over the amount of power held by its leaders.

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