The new head of state dreamed of by Meloni: direct election, five-year mandate and government powers (with constructive distrust)

In the “Program for Italy”Presented by the coalitionthe project is summarized in six words: “Direct election of President of the Republic“. But to understand in detail the presidential system dreamed of by the center right, it is useful to go and reread the constitutional law proposal first signed by Giorgia Meloni, deposited in the Chamber in the first days of the legislature and rejected last May with 236 votes against 204: it is from that text that the future, eventual center-right government would be inspired, in all likelihood, to launch a new reform project. The article draws a middle ground between the French model and the German and Spanish ones, from which it borrows the institution of “constructive distrustWhich allows to discourage the government led by a prime minister while indicating his successor. In summary, it provides for the head of state to come elected by universal suffragewho has a mandate of five years (equal to that of Parliament) and no more than seven, and so be it responsible of the general policy of the government. In the introduction to the text, the proponents – Meloni and 31 other deputies of the Brothers of Italy – write that “a President voted by the Italians, legitimized by the Italians and which is accountable for its actions only in front of its constituents is the most important constitutional reform that we could give to a nation in need of stability ”.

In detail, the proposal intervenes both on the Title II of the Constitution (The President of the Republic), amending articles 83 to 89, both on Title III (The Government), modifying articles 92 to 96. The first paragraphs of article 84, which governs the requirements for the election of the head of state, would be reformulated as follows: “The President of the Republic is elected by universal and direct suffrage. Any citizen who has completed can be elected President of the Republic forty years of age (no more fifty, ndr) and enjoy civil and political rights “. The new article 85, which governs the procedures for the election, would provide that the President is “elected for five years”, and also, explicitly, that he can be “re-elected only once“(While at the moment the Charter does not say anything about the possibility of re-election, which is deduced in an interpretative way). Nominations for the office can be proposed by a parliamentary groupyes two hundred thousand voters or by a number of deputies, senators, MEPs, regional councilors, governors or mayors who must be established by law. To be elected you need the majority absolute number of voters: if none of the candidates reaches it, two weeks after the first round the ballot between the two most voted takes place – as in France.

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As for the government, the figure of the Prime Minister is replaced by that of a Prime Minister with greatly reduced powers: a preside il cabinetin fact, it is not he (except as a substitute) but the head of state, who also – according to the new article 95 – “directs the general policy of the Government and is responsible for it. He maintains the unity of political and administrative direction, promoting and coordinating the activity of ministers“. The President of the Republic, as already happens with the Prime Minister, would appoint “the Prime Minister and, on his proposal, the ministers”, but would also have the power to revoke them at any time. Finally, the provision of the current article 94 is abolished, according to which the government, within ten days of formation, presents itself to the Chambers to obtain their trust: trust would only become necessary for a government formed following constructive mistrust. It is a mechanism whereby an absolute majority of the members of a House can discourage the government indicating at the same time the person to whom the President of the Republic owes confer the assignment Prime Minister (who can also be a personality of opposite political orientation). Only in that case “The Government formed after the approval of the no-confidence motion presents itself to the Chambers within five days to obtain their trust”.

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