But the town’s troubles piled up under his watch, as did the unrecovered garbage, attracting swarms of hungry seagulls, crows and even wild boars. A pothole epidemic saw no solution in sight. Public buses caught fire and some cyclists complained that the bike lanes installed by the mayor were unsafe and poorly maintained.
Then, on Saturday evening, a few hours before the polling stations opened, a 19th century bridge in a trendy area of Rome caught fire. Investigators and experts are still looking for the causes of the fire, but the metaphor for the fire in Rome was not lost on the criticisms of Mrs. Raggi.
Municipal elections were held on Monday in more than 1,000 Italian towns and villages, but it is not yet clear what they mean for national politics. The next legislative elections could be over a year and a half away.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi, independent and former president of the European Central Bank, enjoys broad support in parliament, but low voter turnout may reflect widespread disaffection among the electorate. Only 48.8 percent of voters in Rome turned out to vote, about 10 percent less than five years ago, and the national average has fallen to just under 55 percent, the lowest on record .
Ms. Raggi’s fate was, in part, a reflection of that of her party. Five Star has lost its support since the triumphant national elections of 2018, when it won the largest share of the vote and was part of the governing coalition.
“It’s one thing to promise changes when you’re in opposition, quite another to turn them into effective policies when you’re in government,” said Roberto Biorcio, professor of political sociology at the University of Milan at Bicocca. . “In that sense, she has followed this downward trajectory. “
In Rome, disillusionment with Ms Raggi grew as she failed to build a strong team, frequently replacing key cabinet members, crippling administrative decisions.