Italian presidential selection and PD split

The Italian electoral college (made up of members of parliament and regional representatives) selected Giorgio Napolitano for a second term in the “mostly ceremonial” post of president.

Via presseurop.eu (and originally from Corriera della Sera):

Napolitano was elected on April 20 with the votes of the Democratic Party (PD), Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party and Mario Monti’s Civic Choice. Despite having earlier ruled out the possibility of a second term, Napolitano changed his mind after Franco Marini and Romano Prodi failed to get elected due to a dramatic split in the PD that prompted its head, Pier Luigi Bersani, and the party’s entire leadership to resign.

One of the faculties that makes the Italian presidency potentially more than ceremonial is the authority to dissolve parliament when a government can’t be formed. (This power does not exist in the final phase of a president’s term, but becomes active again once Napolitano starts his second term today.)

Does this mean a grand coalition (i.e. a Berlusconi-backed government)? Or will there be a new elections (leading to who knows what?)?

3 thoughts on “Italian presidential selection and PD split

  1. The president can also appoint “Senators for life”. Maybe Berlusconi is aiming for permanent immunity from prosecution?

  2. Back in the general election thread, I’d speculated when the Five Star Movement would implode. There you go-as in France, merely being anti-Sarkozy or for that matter anti-Berlusconi does not appear to be a sound basis for a successful government, even if the PS in France is somewhat more coherent organisation than the PD.

    As an aside, the preferred strategy of the left wing of the Irish Labour Party, such as it was, was to force the two conservative parties of government into alignment with each other, by refusing coalition with their habitual post WWII ally, Fine Gael, thus magically creating a left-right axis in the then British style. The anti-coalitionists were only briefly influential in the 1960s (being the losing faction in the intra-party struggles of the 70s and 80s), but I’m amused that Beppe Grillo might in the space of a year or two achieve exactly that result.

  3. Unless I missed something, DC, Grillo’s Five Star Movement thus far has not “imploded”. So I am a bit unsure of what you are referring to.

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