What is the Premiership and what changes in Italy with the constitutional reform

The Senate gave the first green light to the introduction of the ‘premierate’, included in the bill of constitutional reform. The bill, which will still have to be examined by the Chamber of Deputies, aims to modify the Constitution, focusing mainly on strengthening the powers of the President of the Council of Ministers and on the implementation of a direct election
for that role.

Compared to the original text, what the Senate passed provides for the limit of two terms for the premier and the elimination of the “anti-rollback rule” previously introduced by the government.

What is the Premiere

The ‘premierate’ is a term used to indicate a new system for strengthening the powers of the premier, proposed by the Meloni government. The premier is the President of the Council of Ministers, that is, the head of government. The premierate requires that the Prime Minister be elected directly by the people, eliminating the need for a relationship of trust with the Parliament, although this still remains important

What does the Constitutional Reform Bill provide

1) Direct election of the Premier

The bill provides for the direct election of the prime minister with amendments to articles 92 and 94 of the Constitution. Currently, the head of government is chosen by the President of the Republic based on the indications of the post-election parties. With the reform, the premier will be elected by universal suffrage and will remain in office for five years, with a limit
of two terms.

2) New Election Mode

If the reform is approved, the Prime Minister will be elected by universal suffrage at the same time as the Chambers are renewed. The vote will be held with a single ballot

3) Majority Award

The reform suggests the establishment of a majority prize to guarantee greater stability to those who govern. The text provides for a 55% prize for the winning party or coalition

4) Post-Election Procedure

The premier must appear in the Chambers within ten days of the formation of the government to gain confidence. If he does not obtain the confidence of the Houses in two attempts, these will be dissolved and the vote will be returned. The reform also modifies Article 88 of the Constitution, preventing the President of the Republic from dissolving a single Chamber

5) Elimination of the Anti-Tilt Standard

The ‘anti-rollback’ rule that prevented the formation of technical governments led by figures outside the parties has been canceled. The ‘Simul Stabunt, Simul Cadent’ amendment ensures that the government remains in office as long as it maintains the confidence of the Houses. In the event of a motion of no confidence, new elections will take place

Premiere Approval Process

Constitutional reform requires the approval of two-thirds of the members in both branches of Parliament, with two votes at least three months apart. If the law is approved only with an absolute majority, it is possible to ask for a popular referendum within three months

Criticism of the Premiere

The opposition and some experts believe that the reform alters the balance between the powers of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, favouring the latter. Some analysts argue that the reform is incomplete, since it does not give the premier the opportunity to appoint and dismiss

Entry into force of the Premiere

If approved, the reform will take effect with the next legislature or with the first dissolution of the Chambers following approval.

The Premiere in the World

In European countries, there is no example of a ‘pure’ première. However, there are parliamentary republics such as the United Kingdom and Germany, where the premier has significant powers. In Germany and Spain, there is constructive distrust, which prevents the Parliament from voting on distrust of the incumbent government without trusting a new executive.

The constitutional reform proposed by the Meloni government aims to introduce a system of premiering in Italy, with the aim of ensuring greater stability and governance. The law will now be examined by the Chamber of Deputies for further votes and possible changes

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