Sunday, 22 August 2010

You Shall Have No Other Prime Minister Before Me

(Lord Jerome, Televisión escolar)

[Edoardo Montenegro - Turin] While the coalition which brought Silvio Berlusconi back to power in 2008 is falling to pieces, the Italian Prime Minister insists on saying that early elections are the only legal alternative to his government.

"A fundamental root of liberal democracy - he declared on Friday - resides indeed in the respect of popular sovereignty, and there is no legal or political theory which might justify a government made by those who were defeated at the elections" (1).

The Italian Prime Minister seems to ignore that Italy is a parliamentary republic. According to the Italian Constitution, indeed: "Members of Parliament represent the Nation; they are free from imperative mandate." (Art. 67).

Moreover, "The President appoints the Prime Minister and, on his advice, the ministers." (Art. 92.2), while "Government has to enjoy the confidence of both Chambers." (Art. 94.1). As a consequence, the President calls for new elections only if the Parliament is not able to sustain any other government.

In an interview released to l'Unità last week, the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano firmly declared that in case of a government crisis he will "make every step the Constitution and the procedure inspired by it clearly dictate" (2).

"Now the attack dogs have been unleashed" noticed The Economist (3), explaining how the vice-president of the People of Freedom at the Lower House, Maurizio Bianconi, accused the President of betraying the Constitution in a subsequent interview to Il Giornale, a newspaper owned by the Prime Minister's brother (4).

In order to hold his position, Silvio Berlusconi is now claiming that the 2005 electoral law allows citizens to choose the Prime Minister. He is thus affirming that a matter-of-fact constitution has replaced the Italian Constitution...

Conscious of his defeat, the Italian Prime Minister appeals his beloved viewing public: media dictatorship will be his ultimate political delirium.


(1) "Una radice fondamentale della democrazia liberale, infatti, risiede nel rispetto della sovranità del popolo. E non c'è nessuna teoria giuridico-politica che possa giungere fino a giustificare un governo di quanti sono usciti sconfitti dalla competizione elettorale". (video by SkyTg24).

(2) "Le mie responsabilità istituzionali entreranno in giuoco solo quando risultasse in Parlamento che la maggioranza si è dissolta e quindi si aprisse una crisi di governo. Compirò in tal caso tutti i passi che la Costituzione e la prassi ad essa ispiratasi chiaramente dettano". Marcella Ciarnelli, "Si fermi la campagna dei veleni", interview with Giorgio Napolitano,, August 13th 2010.

(3) "Slinging dirt",, August 21st 2010.

(4) Paola Setti, "Finge di rispettare la Carta, ma la tradisce", interview with Maurizio Bianconi,, August 15th 2010. 

Related articles in Italian
  • Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, "La politica curi la politica", August 14th 2010
  • Massimo Giannini, "Macelleria istituzionale",, August 17th 2010
  • Curzio Maltese, "I difensori della democrazia",, August 18th 2010
  • Angela Manzella, "La saggezza della Carta",, August 20th 2010



Paolo said...

Standing ovation for the post title!


Edm said...

Thanks :)