Italian film legend Gina Lollobrigida has said she will run in next month’s general election because she “was fed up with arguing with politicians”.
Lollobrigida, who turned 95 in July, aspires to become a senator in the Sovereign and Popular Italy Party (ISP), a new Eurosceptic, anti-Mario-Draghi political alliance that opposes the sending of arms to Ukraine and the “belligerent Atlanticism”.
She told Corriere della Sera that she was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, because of his “demeanor, because of his non-violence” and that she was a “great friend” of India’s first female prime minister, Indira Gandhi. “I saw her every time she came to Rome. She was an extraordinary woman.”
Lollobrigida was one of the most glamorous actors of Hollywood’s golden age, known for films such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Solomon and Sheba. She said last month that she was “determined to stay creative”, and now wants to use some of that energy “for important things, especially for my country”.
The last time Lollobrigida tried to enter politics was in 1999, when she ran in the European parliamentary elections as a candidate for the Democrats of Romano Prodi. In January this year, Italy’s supreme court said she needed a legal guardian to prevent people from preying on her wealth.
Symbols from 101 political parties, movements and lists were submitted to Italy’s interior ministry for approval on Sunday ahead of the Sept. 25 vote.
Brothers of Italy, the far-right party leading a coalition expected to win, kept a neo-fascist tricolor flame symbol in its official logo, despite calls in recent days for it to be removed. In an interview with Corriere della Sera on Sunday, the leader of the Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, said the party was “proud” of the flame: “It has nothing to do with fascism, but is recognition of the way the democratic right in our Republican history,” she said.
Parties have until August 22 to submit their list of candidates.
The Brothers of Italy remains the largest party in Italy according to the latest opinion polls, while its far-right counterpart and coalition partner, the League, has taken a lead in polls in recent weeks. Along with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, the tight-knit alliance could win about 45% of the vote, capitalizing on the divisions that ravaged its opponents.
The center-left Democratic Party (PD) has struggled to form an alliance with enough clout to fend off a right-wing landslide.
Days after breaking an alliance agreement with the PD, Carlo Calenda, the leader of the centrist Azione party, has joined forces with former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who heads Italia Viva, to form what they called “a third pole” that a “pragmatic alternative to the bi-populism of the right and left”.
Berlusconi, who will turn 86 four days after the vote, said last week that he intended to become a senator to “make everyone happy”.