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Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005

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Barred from poll


Rome: Alessandra Mussolini (in the picture), the granddaughter of Italy's wartime fascist dictator, was branded a cheat at the weekend when electoral referees barred her from contesting an election, having decided that hundreds of the signatures she had needed to allow her to stand had been faked. Among the allegedly counterfeit endorsements was that of the actress Ornella Muti, who on Monday denied having approved Ms Mussolini's candidacy. Judges charged with scrutinising the list that her party presented, said other supposed signatories were found to be dead, or were stated in the list to have been born on February 31. One of the judges described ``blatant irregularities''. Ms Mussolini announced she was preparing an appeal and was going on hunger strike until the matter was resolved. Ms Mussolini was intending to stand for the Governorship of Lazio, the region that includes Rome. Under Italian law, candidates can stand only if they muster a number of endorsements that varies according to the population of the region. In Lazio, it is 3,500. Ms Mussolini presented 4,300 signatures but, at the request of her opponent's followers, the judges agreed to check 2,000. They said they stopped after rejecting 932.

— AP

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