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Italian PM endorses new presidential system by reforming constitution for democracy

Italian PM endorses new presidential system by reforming constitution for democracy

Posted May. 11, 2023 07:42,   

Updated May. 11, 2023 07:42


Far-right Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has sought to change from the parliament cabinet framework to a new presidential system. Despite being the third largest economy in the eurozone – a group of 20 countries adopting the euro – the nation has often been deemed politically and socially unstable due to the frequent change of government.

Reuters quoted the far-right Italian prime minister on Tuesday as saying, “We consider this to be an important confrontation for our democracy to approve measures that cannot be put off,” initiating discussions with the opposition parties about a constitutional reform to a new presidential system. This pledge was made last September when she ran the country’s general elections.

She has been reported to prefer the France-inspired semi-presidential system that combines the parliament cabinet and presidential frameworks. The proposed system will have a directly elected president while the leader of the majority party in the parliament serves as prime minister to ensure the principle of checks and balances.

However, there is a seemingly slim chance of the proposed constitutional reform coming to fruition because it takes two-thirds of enrolled members of the two houses of the Italian parliament to support it. In fact, Meloni's right-wing coalition occupies less than two-thirds of both houses. If the proposal does not pass the parliament, it must win a referendum to make the reform happen. Back in 2016, then Prime Minister Matteo Renzi sent to a referendum a proposal to scale back the upper-house members and enhance the central government’s authority and power. As it ended up failing to win over the hearts of the residents, he stepped down.

Even the opposition parties, such as the Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S, Five Star Movement) and the Partito Democratico (PD, Democratic Party), take a pessimistic stance on Meloni’s idea. M5S President Giuseppe Conte said following a meeting with the prime minister on Tuesday that the talks did not end with their mutual agreement.

Eun-A Cho achim@donga.com