Leader of post-fascist Brothers of Italy takes oath before President Sergio Mattarella at Quirinal Palace in Rome –– once home to popes and kings of Italy.
Giorgia Meloni, head of post-fascist Brothers of Italy, chooses her cabinet team, setting her seal on the country's most right-wing government since World War Two.
The Italian election saw the lowest-ever turnout since the post-war period, as voters were unmoved by the narrative of a ‘fascist’ threat and rather punished political forces they see as responsible for their long-standing economic woes.
Opinion polls indicate voters might elect the first far-right premier of the post-World War 2 era — and the first woman to lead an Italian government — in the person of Giorgia Meloni.
The lifting of the ban comes three days after the 81-year-old four-times premier gave his blessing to his political ally the League to form a government without him.
Di Maio's Five Star Movement (M5S) seeks to broker a German-style "government contract" with Matteo Salvini's nationalist League party without Silvio Berlusconi, whom the M5S deems politically corrupt.
Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is unwanted, but the largest grouping in Italy's parliament needs his party's support to be part of a majority coalition.
A horse-trading deal could now pave the way for discussions over who will lead the country as a Five Star Movement member was chosen as speaker of the Chamber of Deputies while a Forza Italia was voted head of the Senate.
With no faction winning a clear majority in Sunday's vote and the two rival leaders claiming victory, a hung Parliament is expected and long, fraught negotiations to form a new government lie ahead.
Italy's future seems uncertain as projections show that no single bloc or party has the support to win a majority in Parliament.
Exit polls will be issued when voting ends at 10 pm (2100 GMT), but the actual vote count will not begin until Monday at 8 am.
Four-time Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's lawyer says the speculation about his client's involvement in the 1993 bombings, which killed 10 people, is politically motivated.
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