In the Italian village of Ingria, near Turin, two-thirds of the village's residents are running in local elections.

Igor De Santis, who won an easy victory in the last local elections, is running for mayor of Ingria again. This time, however, his mother has joined the rival camp and he faces an uphill battle in the mayoral race for the fourth time.

The 42-year-old De Santis, who has led the village since 2009, expected to face competition from 70-year-old opposition councillor Renato Poletto. But the situation became more complicated when Stefano Venuti, who lives in Milan and has a second home in Ingria, also ran. De Santis said he did not expect this.

HIS MOTHER IS ON THE TEAM OF THE RIVAL CANDIDATE

Poletto reportedly has the support of De Santis' mother, Milena Crosasso, who has nominated him as a candidate for councillor on a list of nine women and one man for the new council election on June 8-9.

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In total, 30 people, about two-thirds of the village's residents, are vying for the positions.

"I asked my mother to join me, but after seeing that Poletto's list was mostly women, she decided to go with them," De Santis said.

ENDLESS PROBLEMS IN MOUNTAIN VILLAGES

Crosasso said the competition would not affect family harmony."Both my son and I want what is best for the community and this is an opportunity to give voice to women's perspectives without weakening family ties," she said.

Ingria, in Italy's Soana Valley, suffers from similar problems to other mountain villages, including depopulation, inadequate services and snow in winter. In 2022 they also had to cope with a surge in tourism after being named among Italy's "most beautiful" villages.

"Our main goal is to preserve the beauty of Ingria," De Santis said.
De Santis, whose grandfather was mayor of Ingria for 30 years, said he was optimistic he could win despite the competition.

Editor: John Wickey