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Grillo threatens M5S mayor of Parma with expulsion

Relations soured over ejection of dissident MPs

08 April, 18:23
Grillo threatens M5S mayor of Parma with expulsion (ANSA) - Rome, April 8 - Firebrand comic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo on Tuesday criticized Parma Mayor Federico Pizzarotti and threatened him with expulsion from his anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S).

"Captain Pizza disagrees with the very rules that brought him to the mayor's seat," Grillo wrote on his blog.

Voted in as mayor in May 2012, Pizzarotti, 41, was the first candidate to bring the M5S to power in a large city. Movement leader Grillo often invited him to share the stage with him while on the campaign trail.

However, the once-close relationship between the two has soured in recent months following Grillo's expulsion of numerous dissident MPs from the movement. So far, 19 lawmakers have been either expelled or resigned from the M5S in protest at Grillo's aggressive stances.

The movement captured a stunning 25% of the vote in February 2013 parliamentary elections, with a total of 164 MPs elected in both houses.