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Senate OKs premiership reform bill, moves to House

Senate OKs premiership reform bill, moves to House

Controversial plan approved by 109 votes to 77

ROME, 18 June 2024, 18:03

ANSA English Desk



The Senate on Tuesday approved a Constitutional reform bill introducing the direct election of the Italian premier by the Italian people by 109 votes to 77 and the controversial plan, a flagship campaign pledge of Premier Giorgia Meloni, now moves to the Lower House.
    The bill did not get the two-thirds majority needed to avoid facing a popular referendum, and is not expected to get one in the House either.
    Under the current system in Italy, parties engage in government-formation talks after a general election and then the coalition that forms a ruling majority in parliament agrees on a figure to propose to the President of the Republic to become premier.
    That figure is not necessarily one of the politicians given by the parties as their premier candidate during the election campaign.
    The centre-left opposition Democratic Party (PD) has slammed the proposed reform as "dangerous", saying that it "weakens parliament and the prerogatives of the President of the Republic".
    Meloni says the proposed reform to let Italians choose their premiers directly will lead to stronger and more stable governments in a country which has long been dogged by unstable revolving door administrations.
    The reform plan needs to muster a two-thirds majority in both chambers of parliament to obviate the need for it to be put to a referendum.
    Over 180 constitutional experts appealed against the plan Tuesday saying it would remove checks and balances, make parliament a service structure for the government and make the president a mere notary, ushering in a hybrid authoritarian system that has not been tried in any other democracy.


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