Italians hit polls, begin voting for new parliament
Italians began casting their votes on March 4 in the country’s general elections.
Voting began at 7 a.m. (0600GMT) and will continue until 11 p.m. (2200GMT). The results are expected to be announced in the afternoon on March 5.
Nearly 51 million registered voters, including 4.3 million overseas voters, will go to the polls to elect a new parliament.
For the 630-seat Chamber of Deputies 3,901 candidates are in the race, while for the 315-seat Senate of the Republic 1,958 candidates are competing.
Italy last held a general election in 2013. Since then, the center-left Democratic Party has governed the country under three different prime ministers: Enrico Letta, Matteo Renzi and incumbent Paolo Gentiloni.
While more than 30 parties will be contesting in the polls, the main race is between the Democratic Party, the center-right Forza Italia, and the populist Five Star Movement.