In turmoil, Italy embarks on "decisive" elections

The Italians will return to the polls earlier than expected. After a week of political negotiations, the Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, dropped by three parties of his majority, ended up resigning.

Immediately, the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, decided to dissolve parliament, thus provoking early legislative elections. An outcome, feared but foreseen, which marks the beginning of a new “turmoil” politics in Italy. On the program, a clash between a bloc cemented by a populist right and two parties of the left.

The Italians will vote to elect 200 senators and 400 deputies who will make up the Parliament of the Republic. The Italian electoral campaign is announced “atypical” and “decisive”, according to local media. The different parties have only two intense and difficult months to convince voters.

The “centre-right” coalition already stands out. These are Forza Italia, the right-wing party of Silvio Berlusconi, and the extreme right represented by the League led by Matteo Salvini and Fratelli d’Italia, chaired by Giorgia Meloni, which is at the head of the intentions of vote.

Known for her strong nationalist views, particularly with regard to irregular migrants, the leader of the far-right party is campaigning for a “sovereignty, a fight against immigration, but also the preservation of national traditions”.

Faced with this robust coalition, the left will be represented by the Democratic Party and the 5 Star Movement (M5S).

Only the center and the left, embodied by the Democratic Party, remained to the end alongside Mario Draghi, among other things for fear of the early elections in September, where they are announced beaten by the right according to the polls.

Enrico Letta, face of the Democratic Party and former Prime Minister, regrets “the canyon that has been dug between Italy and its deputies”. Opinion polls suggest that the Democratic Party could be forced to ally with M5S to win on the right.

Torn by numerous internal crises, the M5S lost more than sixty senators and deputies last June after former party leader Luigi Di Maio, current foreign minister, left the party to form a new group. parliamentary. Giuseppe Conte, former President of the Council, is now the captain of the 5 Star Movement, “trigger” of the government crisis.

The M5S boycotted a vote of confidence on a 26 billion euro aid plan on July 20, while the League and Forza Italia rejected requests for help from Mario Draghi to complete his term, scheduled for the spring of 2023, hence these premature elections.

The candidates will compete in a mixed system, in accordance with Italian electoral law, called “La Rosatellum”. Seats in the House and Senate are allocated in single-member constituencies, in which the candidate with the most votes is declared elected. The allocation of the remaining seats in the constituencies of the national territory is carried out proportionally in the multi-member constituencies in which the candidates of the list of the multi-member constituency are declared elected according to the order of presentation, and within the limit of the seats to which the list is entitled.

This voting method increases the chances of the coalition which will have to agree on a name and imposes an alliance between the PD and the M5S.

The positions of the centre-right coalition, in particular Fratelli d’Italia “concern” Italy’s European partners because, if it does not defend an exit from the European Union, Fratelli d’Italia advocates a revision of the treaties and the replacement of the Union by a “confederation of sovereign States”.

For the Head of State, who reluctantly accepted a second term in January due to the climate of political confrontation, ” you have to think about the country”. “I hope that, in the intense and sometimes sharp dialectic of the electoral campaign, a constructive contribution will be made by all in the best interests of Italy”, said Sergio Matarella.

Because the “requirements”he said, are many and important: combating inflation and the last gasps of the pandemic, containing the effects of the war in Ukraine and strengthening “the increasingly necessary collaboration at European and international level”.

The organization of elections, the electoral campaign, the appointment of a government and then its taking office upset the calendar of Italy, which must report to Brussels on the progress of the recovery plan, financed by funds Europeans, but also to face a heavy public debt. Moreover, the Italians, heavily impacted by inflation, are carefully scrutinizing the situation in the hope of seeing their leaders break the deadlock.

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