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PD leader Renzi makes proposals for electoral reform

Spanish-style and mixed systems, double ballot among suggestions

02 January, 13:39
PD leader Renzi makes proposals for electoral reform (ANSA) - Florence, January 2 - Democratic Party (Pd) leader Matteo Renzi on Thursday unveiled proposals for a new electoral law a month after the Constitutional Court struck down the old one for being unconstitutional. The young Florence mayor advanced three 'suggestions' for electoral reform: a law modelled on the Spanish system involving the creation of 118 small constituencies, a premium of 15% to the winning list and the introduction of a 5% threshold; reform of the old Mattarella electoral law, in force from 1993 until 2005, involving a mixed system of first-past-the-post rules and proportional representation; and a double-ballot system. The proposals come after the so-called 'pig-sty' law, introduced in 2005 under Silvio Berlusconi's second government and blamed for recent political instability, was ruled unconstitutional because of the huge bonus it gave to the winner in the House and because it did not allow voters to choose their MPs.

The December ruling now formally leaves Italy with proportional representation.

Renzi also called for "a clear time frame and transparency" in the process leading to electoral reform and said his party would be initiating bilateral talks over the coming week to discuss the proposals. Electoral reform tops the list of priorities for the left-right government of PD Premier Enrico Letta and of President Giorgio Napolitano, who renewed calls for much-needed institutional reforms during his annual message to the nation on New Year's Eve.