Municipal Elections Open in Sicily Amid Anti-Mafia Protest
Partial municipal elections opened Sunday for 200,000 voters in Sicily, but one Palermo suburb, registering a protest against Mafia violence, refused to put forward a mayoral candidate.
Polling stations opened in 19 communities at 7:00 am (0600 GMT) and were to close at 10:00 PM (2100 GMT).
The two main towns going to the polls were Enna in central Sicily with 35,000 inhabitants and Catane in the east with a population of 45,000.
Belmonte Mezzagno, on the outskirts of the capital Palermo, refused to put up a candidate for mayor after all political parties -- in protest against spiraling Mafia violence -- jointly refused to field one.
They called upon the Rome government to crack down on organized crime.
The vote count begins early Monday -- ROME (AFP)
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