How did Marco Nonno manage to become coordinator of Fratelli d'Italia in Naples

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How did Marco Nonno manage to become coordinator of Fratelli d'Italia in Naples
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Marco Nonno is the new city coordinator of Fratelli d'Italia in Naples. A surprise victory, considering that Nonno managed to beat the lawyer Diego Militerni , supported by the big names of Giorgia Meloni 's party, in the congress on Sunday 18 February 2024. While Nonno was supported by the former president of the province of Naples, Luigi Rispoli , a historic FdI exponent, candidate in the last municipal elections in Naples, but not elected.

At the end of the counting, out of 1,010 registered voters – compared to the 2,500 announced in the previous days – in the city of Naples, Nonno's group collected 604 preferences, almost doubling the other candidate Militerni , who received 388. The blank ballots were 18 In addition to Militerni , Dario Renzullo (216 votes) , Antonio Quaranta (195), Salvatore Longobardi (184), Vincenzo Morra (172), Arianna Mocerino (147), Laura Pellegrino (147), Carmine were elected in the coordination of FdI Napoli. Di Domenico (142), Rosario Provenzano (132), Anna Maresca (128), Ione Abbatangelo (120), Armando Manzo (97) and Pietro Lauro (93).

The election amidst controversy

But there is no shortage of controversy. Grandfather, always considered a great vote-bearer for the party, in particular in the Pianura district, in 2023, following the Severino law , lost his position as regional councilor of Campania , after a 2-year sentence for resisting public official in the context of the protests over the Pisani district landfill in Pianura in 2008. He was acquitted, however, of the more serious charge of devastation. On this last point the case was referred to appeal by the Court of Cassation. Nonno defended his actions several times, explaining that that action was part of the “political battle” against the landfill, which ultimately did not take place.

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The words about Mussolini “statesman”

Nonno's positions towards Benito Mussolini , the Duce of fascism, also cause discussion. The new city coordinator explained in an interview with La Repubblica Napoli on Tuesday 20 February 2024 that he has always declared himself “not fascist”, but that he does not deny his cultural belonging to the Right of MSI and AN. For Nonno, Mussolini “in that historical moment in Italy was a statesman “. But, he adds, “very serious things such as the racial laws were also carried out”. Specifying: “I have always been close to the Jewish community”.

The candidacy for the 2024 FdI congress was announced by Nonno with a video on Facebook on 14 February, where he appears alongside the city councilor Giorgio Longobardi , group leader of Fratelli d'Italia in the city council of Naples, of which he is also the only member . “I was in Rome this morning – says Nonno in the video – the party accepted my candidacy as coordinator of Fdi”.

Shadows of “nostalgism” of the Twenty Years had also gathered over Longobardi , after the discovery of the calendars of Benito Mussolini and the fascist regime in a room at his disposal in the municipal council in via Verdi close to the celebrations of Liberation Day on 25 April 2022 Rumors always denied by the city councilor, who then personally removed the calendars, professing to be “more of a man of the center than of the right”. Then, on the following 16 August, Longobardi was suspended as a precautionary measure by the Brothers of Italy and referred to the disciplinary commission by the then city coordinator Sergio Rastrelli for a post in which he compared the Holocaust and the electoral campaign of the Democratic Party. Post which at the time sparked an indignant reaction from the Jewish community.

Giorgio Longobardi (left) and Marco Nonno (right)

Giorgio Longobardi (left) and Marco Nonno (right)

In the statement from the former city coordinator Sergio Rastrelli, now a senator of Fdi, we read:

“following a post published on Facebook on 13 August in which completely improper references to the drama of the Holocaust appear, I have taken steps to refer Giorgio Longobardi to the Provincial Disciplinary Commission and to take action against him as a urgency, precautionary suspension from the party”.

In the city council, however, according to what Fanpage.it learns from qualified sources, the precautionary suspension does not seem to have produced any effects. There are no changes in the composition or name of the FdI group, of which Longobardi is still the group leader today, as well as the sole member, as mentioned.

Who is Marco Nonno

But who is Marco Nonno? According to his biography, still available on the website of the Municipality of Naples, where he was a councilor for several councils for a long time,

Marco Nonno was born in Naples in 1970. He works in construction and, among his hobbies, is civil parachuting, scuba diving and mountain excursions. He began his political activity very early: in 1985, at the age of 15, he was secretary of the Youth Front (youth organization of the MSI); at 22 he became deputy provincial secretary and national manager of the same organization.

In 1996 he was elected for the first time to the Pianura District Council (he was the most voted in the AN), and in 2001 he was re-elected. In 2006 he was elected to the City Council of Naples (with 2,500 preferences, he was second on the National Alliance lists). In 2011 he was the most voted municipal councilor and as senior councillor, he presided over the installation session of the municipal council.

In 2020 he was then a candidate for the regional council of Campania, collecting 7,211 preferences, and being elected in the constituency of Naples, behind Michele Schiano di Visconti – the latter elected coordinator of FdI of the province of Naples last January, beating Raffaele Barbato . Nonno then lost his position as regional councilor in 2022, due to the Severino Law, as mentioned.

The mystery of the signatures for the FdI congress

In recent weeks, therefore, the candidacy for the FdI congress in Naples city , as coordinator, has matured. On 14 February, as announced by Nonno himself on Facebook, the former regional councilor went to Rome where he met Arianna Meloni , sister of Prime Minister Giorgia , responsible for the political secretariat and membership of the Brothers of Italy in the area. “I had the approval of Arianna Meloni – Nonno later explained in several interviews in Neapolitan newspapers – She also intervened to prevent my candidacy from being failed due to some technicality linked to the signatures”, he stated to the newspaper Cronache di Napoli, in a interview on February 16th.

What is it referring to? To be able to stand as a candidate at the FdI congress, the signatures of a certain number of institutional representatives (such as city councilors or mayors) are required. Thanks to the intervention of Arianna Meloni, however, it seems that this condition, in Nonno's case, has been overcome. It is not excluded that the idea of not dispersing Nonno's pool of votes prevailed over the bureaucratic indication, which could be useful in view of the next European elections.

The difficulties of the party in Naples after the 2021 municipal elections

Nonno's program as city coordinator is to strengthen the presence of Fdi in the Naples area, opening new sections and relying on the team led by Longobardi. The intent of the new coordinator's mandate is to “allow an entire underestimated world to emerge and present itself as an alternative to the center-left”. The 2021 municipal elections, in fact, left a divided and weakened party in Naples. In the last administrative elections , Fratelli d'Italia received only 4.41% (14,404 votes), managing to elect only one councillor, Giorgio Longobardi. While in the 2022 elections in Naples FdI collected 12.34% (42,991 votes), against the exploit of over 26% totaled by the party at a national level.

The 2021 administrative elections in Naples were also marked by tensions during the presentation of the lists , culminating in the clash – even physical – between Marco Nonno and Pietro Diodato, as reported by the two protagonists in some posts on Facebook. After those events, there was also an “escape” from the party by some historical exponents, partly who joined Salvini's League and partly still looking for a place.

Who will support Nonno at the European Championships

Having overcome the obstacle of signatures, at the congress held on Sunday at the Hotel Ramada , Nonno's group prevailed over Militerni's, thanks to the greater number of members. Militerni will still enter the city executive, by virtue of the Fdi regulation which also requires the presence of the non-winning party of the congress. Now, however, everyone is wondering who will support Marco Nonno in the next European elections , considering that his contribution in terms of electoral strength could be decisive for the final result.

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