The granddaughter of the former Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, has secured a second term as a councilor of the city of Rome. Rachelle Mussolini also gained more votes than any other candidate, proving that she is just more than her surname.
Mussolini, who belongs to the far-right Brothers of Italy political party, gained more than 8,200 votes. This is a stark contrast to the 675 votes she gained during her first run as a city councilor in 2016. Mussolini's party had its roots in postwar neo-fascism groups, which started out as fringe parties but have now gained popularity.
Mussolini claims that her success in politics is because of her own efforts and not because of her surname or the legacy of her infamous grandfather. Mussolini said during an interview after her win that in the past, she only got attention because of her family name. She added that now she gets asked more about her platform and her initiatives to promote the city council.
The granddaughter of one of the world's most tyrannical leaders also recently talked about the challenges she faces because of her infamous lineage. She said that she was bullied in school but she eventually made a name for herself outside of her burdensome surname.
Mussolini has repeatedly declined to comment about her views on fascism, a form of authoritarian ultra-nationalism promoted by her grandfather. However, she did say that she was against its "glorification."
Mussolini's Brothers of Italy party has now become the second-largest party in Italy, right behind the Democratic Party. Political experts said that despite the push for democracy in the country, the neo-fascist party has still gained strong momentum throughout the rest of the country.
A lot of Italians still revere the legacy of Benito Mussolini up to this day. This is apparent in the existence of numerous monuments of the dictator in town squares, fascist architecture, and the sale of Mussolini memorabilia across the country. Some Italians even travel to Mussolini's hometown to pay their respects to the tyrant.
Benito Mussolini led the National Fascist Party in Italy in 1992 and reformed the country into a fascist power. During the Second World War, he joined the Axis powers and sided with Germany's Adolf Hitler against the Allied powers. Mussolini was later deposed and executed by the Italian people in 1945.