PD's Zingaretti throws down gaunlet for Lazio election

Previous governor resigned amid public funds scandal

PD's Zingaretti throws down gaunlet for Lazio election

(ANSA) - Rome, October 4 - Italy's centre-left politician from the Democratic Party (PD) Nicola Zingaretti has thrown down the gauntlet for the upcoming Lazio region elections after the previous center-right governor was forced to resign and junta sent in disarray amid an ever-widening public funds scandal. The scandal, which initially focussed on politician Franco Fiorito emerged to public view when the disgraced former caucus leader of Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party in Lazio was put under investigation earlier this month. The PdL's Renata Polverini has since been forced to step down as governor of Lazio and Fiorito was arrested on Monday on suspicion of embezzling public money. "We need to reconquer trust and hope, and this is achieved by way of example, not with promises", said Zingaretti at a press conference held to announce his candidature. "That is why rigour and sobriety will start from me, from my collaborators and from the coalition that supports me". Zingaretti is currently serving as president of the province of Rome. The scandal is seen by many as a threat to the centre-right PdL's chances of maintaining its position as the biggest party in parliament in next year's general elections. Ex-premier Berlusconi's party currently trails far behind the PD in the polls. This investigation is only one in a series of recent corruption scandals that have hit various parts of Italy's political spectrum, sparking condemnation from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and the Catholic Church.

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