Martedì, 25 Settembre 2018
ROME

Reform minister moots elections for Italian president

English
© ANSA

(see related story on election law)
Rome, May 22 - Reform Minister Gaetano
Quagliariello mooted the idea of introducing direct elections
for the Italian president as part of possible changes to the
Constitution.
At the moment the head of state is elected by lawmakers
from the Senate and Upper House and representatives of Italy's
regions.
Premier Enrico Letta has said replacing Italy's
much-criticised election law, which failed to produce a clear
winner in February's vote, and Constitutional changes to make
the country easier to govern are top priorities for his
left-right government.
Part of the reason the general election was inconclusive
was because the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement tapped into
widespread disenchantment at a political system that has failed
to address many of Italy's social and economic ailments in
recent years.
"The increasingly wide gap between the political world and
the public and the situation in Europe mean we should assess
whether it is preferable to adopt a system with direct elections
for the president," Quagliariello told the House.
Quagliariello is a Senator of three-time Italian premier
Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party.
Berlusconi has called for the president to be elected
directly by the people in the past and is widely thought to want
to become head of state one day.
The Italian president is mostly a non-political figurehead
role, although the holder does have the power to send laws back
to parliament if they are deemed to be unconstitutional.
The head of state has a key role to play though in
situations of political crisis, such as the impasse that
followed February's inconclusive general election.
President Giorgio Napolitano was instrumental in the
formation of Letta's unprecedented left-right coalition
government.
Quagliariello also said he was against a bill presented by
Senators from Letta's centre-left Democratic Party (PD) that
threatens to force the M5S out of the Italian political arena.
If it becomes law, the bill would force the Internet-based
M5S to become more like a conventional party in several ways if
it wants to run in elections.
M5S leader Beppe Grillo has said the movement will never do
this.
He said his movement will boycott the next election if the
bill is signed into law and warned there would be "an expansion
of violence" if the M5S were shut out from politics.

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