The Italian screen legend Gina Lollobrigida has said she is running in general elections next month because she is “fed up with quarrelling politicians”.
Lollobrigida, who turned 95 in July, is endeavouring to become a senator with the Sovereign and Popular Italy party (ISP), a new Eurosceptic, anti-Mario-Draghi political alliance that opposes sending arms to Ukraine and “warmongering Atlanticism”.
She told Corriere della Sera she was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, for his “way of doing things, for 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 among the most glamorous actors of Hollywood’s golden age, known for films including 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 attempted to enter politics was in 1999, when she ran in the European parliamentary elections as a candidate for Romano Prodi’s Democrats. In January this year, Italy’s supreme court said she needed a legal guardian in order to stop people preying on her wealth.
Symbols of 101 political parties, movements and lists were submitted to the Italian interior ministry for approval on Sunday ahead of the 25 September ballot.
Brothers of Italy, the far-right party leading a coalition that is forecast to win, retained a neofascist tricoloured flame symbol in its official logo despite calls in recent days to remove it. In an interview with Corriere della Sera on Sunday, the Brothers of Italy leader, Giorgia Meloni, said the party was “proud” of the flame: “It has nothing to do with fascism, but is the recognition of the path taken by the democratic right in our republican history,” she said.
Parties have until 22 August to register their candidate lists.
Brothers of Italy remains the biggest party in Italy, according to the latest opinion polls, while its far-right counterpart and coalition partner, the League, has edged up in surveys in recent weeks. Together with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, the close-knit alliance could win about 45% of the vote, gaining from the divisions blighting its opponents.
The centre-left Democratic party (PD) has struggled to form an alliance with enough clout to fend off what could be a rightwing landslide.
Days after breaking an alliance agreement with the PD, Carlo Calenda, the leader of the centrist party Azione, joined forces with the former prime minister Matteo Renzi, who leads Italia Viva, to form what they called “a third pole” that provides a “pragmatic alternative to the bi-populism of the right and left”.
Berlusconi, who turns 86 four days after the vote, said last week he was planning to run for senator in order to “make everyone happy”.