Italian populist candidates boast they're non-politicians.

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Italian populist candidates boast they're non-politicians.
Five Stars Movement Prime Minister candidate Luigi Di Maio presents the movement's members of parliament candidates ahead of the upcoming general elections, in Rome, Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. On March 4 Italians will cast ballots for Parliament, a national election that will also help determine their new government. Writing in the background reads "Participate. Choose. Change." (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

ROME (AP) — Populists aiming to govern Italy for the first time have tapped many middle-class professionals from outside politics as their candidates for March 4 national elections.

Luigi Di Maio, the 5-Star Movement candidate for premier, on Monday introduced some candidates in Rome.

The 5-Stars, founded by comic Beppe Grillo, insist they’re not a political party but a grass-roots movement. They claim they are neither on the political right or left.

Opinion surveys indicate they’re currently the most popular political force but won’t win enough votes to govern on their own. Di Maio recently reached out to both left-wing former Democrats and the right-wing, euro-skeptic, anti-migrant League party for a possible post-election alliance and Parliamentary majority.

Di Maio boasted that 5-Star candidates possess “excellence” and “humanity” and together make a “super-competent” team.