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Barry breaks left.  Conte throws a wide field.  Schlein: “Unconscious”

Barry breaks left. Conte throws a wide field. Schlein: “Unconscious”

It's seven o'clock in the evening when Giuseppe Conte makes a decision: “There are no longer conditions to hold primaries in Bari”. And the sprawling grounds are collapsing like a house of cards engulfed by a tsunami of investigations into electoral fraud that have led to 10 precautionary custody orders and more than 70 suspects. A late-February crackdown with 130 more suspects and an investigation into mafia political-transfer votes in a city run by Mayor Antonio Decaro is set to contest European elections in June. All this, along with inspectors sent by Minister Piantedosi to assess the dissolution of the municipality at the hands of the Democratic Party.

Also read: Barry, rags fly between Pd and M5S “Incomprehensible”, Schlein rages at Conte

Ellie Schlein is furious. Just before Conte's departure, he spoke of a “very serious matter” and tried to reassure the base by guaranteeing that “the Democratic Party will not accept dirty and bought votes.” He didn't expect Conte to throw everything away. Democratic sources described the choice of the five-star leader as “an incomprehensible choice”. And they add: “If the 5 Star Movement thinks it can win against the right on its own, go ahead. But out of respect for the city of Barry and the center-left electorate, don't try to lecture anyone.

Ventola lawyer Michael Laforgia, who is backed by 5 stars, had to win this weekend's runoff against Democrat Vito Lecce, a man from Tegaro, until yesterday. It is no coincidence that Conte has already crowned him a champion of “legitimacy” and “transparency”. Into this confusion Schlein sends forward his man in Puglia, Francesco Bocia: “It is a mistake to defend the principals. Let us meet at the election as the people of Bari will always decide.”

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