An Italian far right politician who was suspended by his party for praising Hitler as a “great statesman” has won a seat in Italy’s parliamentary elections.
Calogero Pisano, a candidate for the Brothers of Italy (FDI) party, and the leader of FDI in Agrigento, Sicily, was “suspended with immediate effect” by the party after the comment was discovered.
“[He] no longer represents the party at any level and is forbidden from using its logo,” the party said in a statement.
It added that Pisano was ordered to appear before the party leadership.
In 2014, Pisano posted a Facebook comment that implied Hitler was a “great statesman from 70 years ago” without directly naming the Nazi leader but referring to him as a “German,” La Repubblica newspaper reported.
He also posted other pro-fascism comments, and in 2016 gave his support to someone who described party leader Giorgia Meloni as a “modern fascist,” adding that Brothers of Italy had “never hidden its true ideals.”
But the controversy over his pro-Hitler comment did not stop Pisano from winning his seat, garnering 37.8 percent of the vote.
The president of the Jewish community in Rome, Ruth Dureghello, expressed the community’s outrage over Pisano’s victory.
“The idea that those who praise Hitler can sit in the next parliament is unacceptable,” she tweeted.
After he was suspended, Pisano released a statement that said, “Years ago, I wrote things that were deeply wrong and deleted my personal profile on Facebook because I was ashamed.”
Meloni, the leader FDI, is poised to become the country's prime minister after her party received 26 percent of the vote in the Italian parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Right wing and center-right parties won a majority in the elections, giving Meloni the task of forming a governing coalition.