Rome Mayoral candidate Virginia Raggi has said she is open to a referendum on the city’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Five Star Movement (M5S) politician is the favourite to gain control of the Italian capital and has previously warned she will not support Rome 2024 if she beats Democratic Party candidate Roberto Giachetti in a vote on Sunday (June 19).
Raggi believes the city's problems should be solved first but said that a referendum would be held if citizens asked ''through a petition''.
"If Romans were to ask, the M5S is in favour of direct participation and the use of tools of direct democracy," she told ANSA, the leading wire service in Italy.
It comes after Raggi suggested the Games "can definitely be a chance of development and growth" during a live television debate with Giachetti on Rai 3 talk show "In mezz'ora"
Rome’s attempts to secure the hosting rights to the Olympic Games for the first time in 64 years have thus far been dominated by claims a referendum may be held.
Last month, supporters of a possible vote on the bid slammed the "seriously illegitimate" decision of the City Council to seemingly end any prospect of a public ballot taking place.
The Rome Municipality's Capital Committee on Referendums ruled in April that a public vote on whether to press ahead with the bid could be held following its submission by the Italian Radicals Political Party, so long as there were 30,000 signatures calling for one.
It was claimed that a ballot similar to those held in other cities would be vital to ascertain local support for the bid.
But the Council backtracked on this decision after receiving a letter from the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) which urged them to reconsider.
CONI claimed the bid is a nationwide one so should not be affected by purely Roman opinion, while they also accused the Radicals of wrongly claiming that both the Hamburg and Boston 2024 bids were derailed by similar referendums.
While the German bid was dropped last year after a surprise referendum defeat, Boston's was abandoned earlier in 2015 due to a failure to gain political support, before a proposed public vote was held.
Every referendum held in recent years on an Olympic bid has failed, except for one in Oslo in 2013 on a 2022 Winter bid that was dropped the following year anyway amid plummeting public and political support.
Rome is up against Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris in a four-horse race to host the 2024 Games.
A final decision is due to be made at the 2017 International Olympic Committee Session in Lima.