Italy’s ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi who turned up to cast his vote at Italy’s national election, was dragged into a public showdown by a topless feminist, who had the words “Berlusconi, you’ve expired” written in black marker on her topless torso.
Photographers in the room shot the scene jostled for position amid the chaos, as the topless feminist jumped onto the table at the Milan polling station as Berlusconi was voting.
Berlusconi was however escorted out, as Italians await the result of the poll which could re-establish Silvio Berlusconi, the conservative former prime minister and billionaire forced out of office in 2011 under a cloud of scandal, as the dominant force in Italian politics.
DailyMail reports that Italians are heading to the polls in one of the country’s most uncertain elections ever. Far-right and populist parties are expected to make major gains and Berlusconi is set to play a leading role.
Polling stations opened at 6am GMT and will close at 10pm, with initial results expected tomorrow morning. Tensions between far-right and anti-fascist activists have marred a gloomy campaign dominated by fears about immigration and economic malaise.
The latest incident is coming after he told BBC journalist Sofia Bettiza last week, that her handshake was so strong that “no one will marry her.”
“Men will think she is going to beat me up, no one will marry you. Are you already married? You see? Be careful,” Berlusconi told the reporter.
The tycoon, who some have compared to U.S. President Donald Trump, has been running on an anti-immigration ticket. Critics say his gaffes, which have included racist, homophobic and sexist stereotypes, are part of a dog-whistle political strategy. Questions remain as to whether his sexist tropes will turn away women, who make up more than half of undecided swing voters, at the ballot box on Sunday.
Here’s the video of the topless feminist below;
Here are a collection of some of his most offensive remarks at women:
2003: He told American investors at the New York Stock Exchange that “beautiful secretaries” were one of the many reasons why they should invest in Italy. He later explained the comments as a misunderstood joke, Al Jazeera reports.
2005: He caused a diplomatic incident during his second-term as Prime Minister when he suggested that he had seduced Finland’s President Tarja Halonen to persuade her to let Italy host a new E.U. food safety agency. “I had to use all my playboy tactics, even if they have not been used for some time,” he said at the time.
2006: Berlusconi told a television debate that his center-right coalition had a small number of women because it was “not easy to find someone who wants to leave work and family and spend five days a week in Rome,” the New York Times reports. The statement led to rebuttals from opposition politicians and those in his own ranks.
2008: He was criticized for being tone deaf after advising a young woman, who was struggling to find a stable job, to find a rich husband.