Italy: Child of African immigrants named 'mayor' in north

Bergamo, 30 Dec. (AKI) - A 13-year-old boy whose parents come from the Ivory Coast has been elected 'children's mayor' in a northern Italian town considered a stronghold of the anti-immigrant Northern League.

David N'Doua was elected mayor in an initiative at his local school in Stezzano near Bergamo. He was born in the nearby town of Seriate to Ivorian parents who have lived in Italy for many years.

Of the seven children elected in the children's council election project, four of them were reportedly foreign born or the children of immigrants.

"The children's council is a project designed to really compare different cultures, to help people understand that diversity is an asset," school principal Giovan Battista Sertori told the Italian daily, Corriere della Sera.

"In these children I see a desire to appreciate and give a great deal of respect to their Italian colleagues."

Elena Poma, Stezzano mayor who is aligned with the Northern League, welcomed the school project, while warning of the ongoing problems posed by illegal immigrants.

"The project undertaken by the school is really an excellent example of integration," she said. "But unfortunately it doesn't solve the problem: the difficult issue is the one regarding adults.

"It is difficult to speak about integration when we have to deal with the phenomenon of illegal immigration, with people who are not detected because they live in Italy illegally."

David N'Doua, the young mayor, was adopting a low profile and declined to comment as he went skiing with his family.

"For now, I am enjoying my holidays," he reportedly said.


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