Students can vote for the God-daughter

12th January 1996 at 00:00
Perhaps Maria Concetta Riina, the daughter of Mafia superboss Toto Riina, should have thought twice before standing as a student representative in the liceo near Palermo where she is preparing for her maturita (school-leaving certificate).

Thanks to the publicity surrounding the election in this Mafia heartland, the 19-year-old (the third choice in a list of only three candidates) now finds herself at the centre of a curiously Italian debate.

A leading anti-Mafia magistrate, Ilda Boccassini, has called on her to publicly condemn the crimes committed by her father.

However, another magistrate, Antonio Di Pietro, the hero of the Milan corruption trials, has defended the right not to disown one's family, even if you are the Cosa Nostra chief's daughter.

Maria Concetta, in an interview for Panorama, the weekly magazine, insists that her father taught her "never to commit violence or abuses, and always to show respect towards others".

Her headteacher refers to her as "a good pupil who always participates constructively in school matters".

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