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In Pictures: Italy's elections
Recession-stricken Italy heads to the polls to elect a new government after weeks of campaigning and rallies.
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2013 11:52

Italians are heading to the polls in an unpredictable election critical to European markets as the country suffers its longest economic recession in two decades.

Polling booths opened at 8am (07:00 GMT) and will close at 10pm on Sunday. On Monday, voters can cast their ballots between 7am and 3pm. Some 47 million eligible voters are electing both chambers of parliament: The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti, a former European commissioner, will also compete with three-time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the media tycoon known for a series of scandals, and Pier Luigi Bersani, the centre-left leader of the Democratic Party (PD) who led the last opinion polls.

Campaigning ended on Friday with candidates banned from publicly rallying for support in the 24 hours before the polls open. Opinion polls are also not allowed to be published during the fortnight preceding the vote.


Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo/Al Jazeera
People wave flags, gesture and chant slogans in support of Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party during its final rally before a ban on campaigning ahead of the vote. Italians cast their ballots on Sunday and Monday.
Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo/Al Jazeera
Angelino Alfano, secretary of the PDL, addresses supporters in the Mostra d'Oltremare conference room in Naples, where the party held their last rally. Berlusconi, whose party has been catching up to the leading Democratic Party (PD) in the polls, was unable to attend because of a bout of conjunctivitis.
Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo/Al Jazeera
Berlusconi speaks to supporters on a video-screen during his last electoral rally. It was the sixth election campaign for Berlusconi, who has been prime minister three times. The media tycoon and politician has survived multiple court cases, sex scandals and diplomatic gaffes.
Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo/Al Jazeera
Leader of the PD Pier Luigi Bersani addresses his supporters. Polls suggest that Bersani will narrowly edge out former three-time Prime Minister Berlusconi in a vote seen as crucial for the future of the Eurozone as the winner will face the arduous task of pulling Italy out of the longest recession it has faced in a generation.
Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo/Al Jazeera
Naples Royal palace in the city's Plebiscito Square is seen under a flag of the PD, a centre-left party headed by former Communist Bersani, during the party's last rally before the 2013 general elections.
Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo/Al Jazeera
A PD supporter carries a flag during the party's last rally in Naples. Party officials say that if Bersani wins, his priorities would include cutting payroll taxes to create jobs, strengthening anti-corruption laws, and bolstering state institutions.
Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo/Al Jazeera
Leader of the Left, Ecology, Freedom party (SEL) Nichi Vendola, addresses his constituents during a rally organised by his party in Naples to mark the end of the campaigning. Vendola's party is allied to the PD, which may also be joined by Mario Monti's centrist coalition to help the PD gain a majority in the Senate.
Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo/Al Jazeera
A man waves an Italian flag during the SEL party rally in Naples. With a large number of voters undecided as of the last polls, analysts warn that anything could happen during the two days of voting.
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images:
/mritems/images/2013/2/24/201322411810773646_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/2/24/201322411810992791_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/2/24/201322411811164753_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/2/24/201322411811320538_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/2/24/201322411811460124_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/2/24/201322411811648487_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/2/24/201322411811804641_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/2/24/201322411811960625_8.jpg
captions:
People wave flags, gesture and chant slogans in support of Silvio Berlusconi(***)s centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party during its final rally before a ban on campaigning ahead of the vote. Italians cast their ballots on Sunday and Monday.;*;Angelino Alfano, secretary of the PDL, addresses supporters in the Mostra d(***)Oltremare conference room in Naples, where the party held their last rally. Berlusconi, whose party has been catching up to the leading Democratic Party (PD) in the polls, was unable to attend because of a bout of conjunctivitis.;*;Berlusconi speaks to supporters on a video-screen during his last electoral rally. It was the sixth election campaign for Berlusconi, who has been prime minister three times. The media tycoon and politician has survived multiple court cases, sex scandals and diplomatic gaffes. ;*;Leader of the PD Pier Luigi Bersani addresses his supporters. Polls suggest that Bersani will narrowly edge out former three-time Prime Minister Berlusconi in a vote seen as crucial for the future of the Eurozone as the winner will face the arduous task of pulling Italy out of the longest recession it has faced in a generation. ;*;Naples Royal palace in the city(***)s Plebiscito Square is seen under a flag of the PD, a centre-left party headed by former Communist Bersani, during the party(***)s last rally before the 2013 general elections.;*;A PD supporter carries a flag during the party(***)s last rally in Naples. Party officials say that if Bersani wins, his priorities would include cutting payroll taxes to create jobs, strengthening anti-corruption laws, and bolstering state institutions. ;*;Leader of the Left, Ecology, Freedom party (SEL) Nichi Vendola, addresses his constituents during a rally organised by his party in Naples to mark the end of the campaigning. Vendola(***)s party is allied to the PD, which may also be joined by Mario Monti(***)s centrist coalition to help the PD gain a majority in the Senate. ;*;A man waves an Italian flag during the SEL party rally in Naples. With a large number of voters undecided as of the last polls, analysts warn that anything could happen during the two days of voting. Daylife ID:
1361694643883
Photographer:
Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo;*;Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo;*;Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo;*;Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo;*;Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo;*;Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo;*;Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo;*;Mariagrazia Petito Di Leo
Image Source:
Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Italian electionshttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-electionsen-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Sun, 24 Feb 2013 08:30:44 GMTSun, 24 Feb 2013 11:01:11 GMT http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=00NG9tD5Ff0SE

People wave flags, gesture and chant slogans in support of Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party during its final rally before a ban on campaigning ahead of the vote. Italians cast their ballots on Sunday and Monday.

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 09:26:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=00NG9tD5Ff0SEMariagrazia Petito Di LeoAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

People wave flags, gesture and chant slogans in support of Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PDL) party during its final rally before a ban on campaigning ahead of the vote. Italians cast their ballots on Sunday and Monday.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=0ggq7ko0ly83Z

Angelino Alfano, secretary of the PDL, addresses supporters in the Mostra d'Oltremare conference room in Naples, where the party held their last rally. Berlusconi, whose party has been catching up to the leading Democratic Party (PD) in the polls, was unable to attend because of a bout of conjunctivitis.

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=0ggq7ko0ly83ZMariagrazia Petito Di LeoAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Angelino Alfano, secretary of the PDL, addresses supporters in the Mostra d'Oltremare conference room in Naples, where the party held their last rally. Berlusconi, whose party has been catching up to the leading Democratic Party (PD) in the polls, was unable to attend because of a bout of conjunctivitis.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=0fYH5Ck8Ho8yV

Berlusconi speaks to supporters on a video-screen during his last electoral rally. It was the sixth election campaign for Berlusconi, who has been prime minister three times. The media tycoon and politician has survived multiple court cases, sex scandals and diplomatic gaffes.

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 09:28:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=0fYH5Ck8Ho8yVMariagrazia Petito Di LeoAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Berlusconi speaks to supporters on a video-screen during his last electoral rally. It was the sixth election campaign for Berlusconi, who has been prime minister three times. The media tycoon and politician has survived multiple court cases, sex scandals and diplomatic gaffes.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=061s4Ucbu4fzQ

Leader of the PD Pier Luigi Bersani addresses his supporters. Polls suggest that Bersani will narrowly edge out former three-time Prime Minister Berlusconi in a vote seen as crucial for the future of the Eurozone as the winner will face the arduous task of pulling Italy out of the longest recession it has faced in a generation.

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 09:29:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=061s4Ucbu4fzQMariagrazia Petito Di LeoAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Leader of the PD Pier Luigi Bersani addresses his supporters. Polls suggest that Bersani will narrowly edge out former three-time Prime Minister Berlusconi in a vote seen as crucial for the future of the Eurozone as the winner will face the arduous task of pulling Italy out of the longest recession it has faced in a generation.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=01VS0cZ4Kz1as

Naples Royal palace in the city's Plebiscito Square is seen under a flag of the PD, a centre-left party headed by former Communist Bersani, during the party's last rally before the 2013 general elections.

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=01VS0cZ4Kz1asMariagrazia Petito Di LeoAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Naples Royal palace in the city's Plebiscito Square is seen under a flag of the PD, a centre-left party headed by former Communist Bersani, during the party's last rally before the 2013 general elections.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=07OkdGyesv42z

A PD supporter carries a flag during the party's last rally in Naples. Party officials say that if Bersani wins, his priorities would include cutting payroll taxes to create jobs, strengthening anti-corruption laws, and bolstering state institutions.

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 09:29:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=07OkdGyesv42zMariagrazia Petito Di LeoAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

A PD supporter carries a flag during the party's last rally in Naples. Party officials say that if Bersani wins, his priorities would include cutting payroll taxes to create jobs, strengthening anti-corruption laws, and bolstering state institutions.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=06EIgtdh2fgON

Leader of the Left, Ecology, Freedom party (SEL) Nichi Vendola, addresses his constituents during a rally organised by his party in Naples to mark the end of the campaigning. Vendola's party is allied to the PD, which may also be joined by Mario Monti's centrist coalition to help the PD gain a majority in the Senate.

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 09:26:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=06EIgtdh2fgONMariagrazia Petito Di LeoAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Leader of the Left, Ecology, Freedom party (SEL) Nichi Vendola, addresses his constituents during a rally organised by his party in Naples to mark the end of the campaigning. Vendola's party is allied to the PD, which may also be joined by Mario Monti's centrist coalition to help the PD gain a majority in the Senate.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=07As1T79P76ZP

A man waves an Italian flag during the SEL party rally in Naples. With a large number of voters undecided as of the last polls, analysts warn that anything could happen during the two days of voting.

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 09:31:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Italian-elections?image_id=07As1T79P76ZPMariagrazia Petito Di LeoAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

A man waves an Italian flag during the SEL party rally in Naples. With a large number of voters undecided as of the last polls, analysts warn that anything could happen during the two days of voting.



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