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Meloni says won't give ground on premiership reform

Meloni says won't give ground on premiership reform

Would be a mistake to throw in the towel says PM on plans

ROME, 08 May 2024, 18:50

ANSA English Desk



Premier Giorgia Meloni said Wednesday she would not give ground on her drive to introduce the direct election of the Italian premier by the Italian people as part of Constitutional reforms at a conference on the plans at the Lower House.
    "I think it is a mistake to approach these issues with an ideological stance, above all linked to contingent interests, which is the prevailing orientation in this debate," she said.
    "It would be a mistake on the part of politics to give ground and throw in the towel in the face of this attitude," said the premier.
    A biased interpretation of the Constitution must not privilege one side, she added.
    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.
    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".
    PD Secretary Elly Schlein has described it as "a distortion of the Constitution and the parliamentary Republic".
    "We will use every available dialectical tool in parliament to oppose a project that we consider to be dangerous," she continued.
    Leading Constitutional experts Sabino Cassese and Antonio Baldassarre have called on the government to abandon its plans to introduce the direct election of the premier and begin a process of constitutional reform that is shared by the opposition.
    The reform plans will not muster a required two thirds majority in both chambers to obviate a referendum, experts say.


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