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Italy's Political System

Political System of Italy's Political SystemItaly is a unified state and parliamentary- democratic republic, with a president as head of state. See AbbreviationFinder for how IT can stand for Italy. The executive power lies with the President of the Council of Ministers (the Prime Minister), who is appointed by the President, and with the Council of Ministers (the Government).

The country's legislative assembly is Parliament, which consists of two chambers: the Senate with 315 members and the Chamber of Deputies with 630 members.

Constitutional

The monarchy was abolished by a referendum in 1946, and Italy became a republic. The Constitution was passed in December 1947 and entered into force on January 1, 1948.

Political System of Italy

The head of state is a president, who is elected for seven years by an electoral college consisting of Parliament's two houses and 58 regional representatives. The president has mainly constitutional functions, but has, especially since 1990, played a significant role as a unifying figure both in the political environment and in society at large.

The executive power lies with the Prime Minister, who holds the title of Presidente del Consiglio dei ministry (Presidential Council) and the government, which is called il Consiglio dei ministri (Council of Ministers). The government is appointed by the prime minister and approved by the president.

Parliament

Legislative power has been added to Parliament, which has two chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Senate (Senato della Repubblica) has 315 members, and in addition has five members appointed for life. The voting age for elections to the Senate is 25 years.

The Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati) has 630 members, elected in the general election. The voting age is 18 years. Both houses are selected for five years, but can be dissolved sooner. The government is accountable to Parliament; in practice it has meant the Chamber of Deputies.

Election System

A new election law for elections to the National Assembly was passed in November 2017. It goes by the name of rosatellum bis, and is named after the group leader of Partito Democratico in the Chamber of Deputies, Ettore Rosato. The law was passed with the support of Partito Democratico, Alternativa Popolare, Forza Italy, Lega Nord and some other smaller parties, while among others the Five Star movement and Fratelli d'Italia were opposed.

The principle of the electoral system for elections to the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate in Italy is a mixture of majority and proportional elections. 37 per cent of the representatives come from constituencies where only one representative is to be elected (majority voting), while 61 per cent of the representatives must be elected according to the ratio principle in larger constituencies. 2 per cent of the representatives should be elected by Italians living abroad.

According to the Election Act, the Chamber of Deputies must have 630 representatives to be elected for five years. 232 of these shall be elected directly in one-man circles according to the principle of majority voting, while 386 of the representatives shall be elected according to the principle of proportionality. 12 of the representatives will be elected by Italians residing abroad.

The Senate will have 315 representatives, who will also be elected for five years. 116 of these are chosen according to the principle of majority voting, while 193 are chosen according to the principle of proportional elections. Six representatives are elected by Italians living abroad.

The barrier is at 3 percent at national level for parties and 10 percent for coalitions.

Chamber of Deputies

Representatives Percent
majority Election 232 37
ratio Options 386 61
People living abroad 12 2
630

Senate

Representatives Percent
majority Election 116 37
ratio Options 193 61
People living abroad 6 2
315

Political parties and elections

In the period after 1946, the Christian Democrats (Democrazia cristiana) dominated Italian politics, but the party was constantly dependent on alliances with other parties. The governments rarely stayed long, and the post-war period was marked by very frequent changes of government.

The Communist Party (Partito Comunista Italiano) played an important role in Italian politics in the post-war period, but never joined any government after 1947.

In 1992, Italy was shaken by a major corruption scandal involving most of the established political parties. Several parties were dissolved, among them the Christian Democrats and the Socialist Party (Partito Socialista Italiano), and in the wake of this scandal arose new political parties, such as Silvio Berlusconis Forza Italia. Parties Lega Nord and Alleanza Nazionale also played an important role in Italian politics in the period after 1990. The center-left side gathered in the party Partito Democratico, while comedian Beppe Grillo later turned out to be an important power factor in Italian politics with the Five Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle), a protest movement that has been running for election since 2010.

Heads of State in Italy

Kingdom

Period
1861-1878 Viktor Emanuel 2
1878-1900 Umberto 1
1900-1946 Viktor Emanuel 3
1946 Umberto 2

Republic

Period
1946-1948 Enrico De Nicola
1948-1955 Luigi Einaudi
1955-1962 Giovanni Gronchi
1962-1964 Antonio Segni
1964-1971 Giuseppe Saragat
1971-1978 Giovanni Leone
1978-1985 Sandro Pertini
1985-1992 Francesco Cossiga
1992-1999 Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
1999-2006 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
2006-2015 Giorgio Napolitano
2015- Sergio Mattarella

Prime Ministers of Italy

The Prime Minister of Italy is entitled Presidente del Consiglio dei ministri (Presidential Council President).

From 1861 to 1946 the prime minister's full title was Presidente del Consiglio dei ministri del Regno d'Italia (President of the Italian Kingdom), while the 1946 title is Presidente del Consiglio dei ministri della Repubblica Italiana (Italian Republic's Prime Minister).

Period Prime minister
1917-1919 Vittorio Emanuele Orlando
1919-1920 Francesco Saverio Ninety
1920-1921 Giovanni Giolitti
1921-1922 Ivanoe Bonomi
1922 Luigi Facta
1922-1943 Benito Mussolini
1943-1944 Pietro Badoglio
1944-1945 Ivanoe Bonomi
1945 Ferruccio Parri
1945-1953 Alcide De Gasperi
1953-1954 Giuseppe Pella
1954 Amintore Fanfani
1954-1955 Mario Scelba
1955-1957 Antonio Segni
1957-1958 Adone Zoli
1958-1959 Amintore Fanfani
1959-1960 Antonio Segni
1960 Fernando Tambroni
1960-1963 Amintore Fanfani
1963 Giovanni Leone
1963-1968 Aldo Moro
1968 Giovanni Leone
1968-1970 Mariano Rumor
1970-1972 Emilio Colombo
1972-1973 Giulio Andreotti
1973-1975 Mariano Rumor
1975-1976 Aldo Moro
1976-1979 Giulio Andreotti
1979-1980 Francesco Cossiga
1980-1981 Arnaldo Forlani
1981-1982 Giovanni Spadolini
1982-1983 Amintore Fanfani
1983-1987 Bettino Craxi
1987 Amintore Fanfani
1987-1988 Giovanni Goria
1988-1989 Ciriaco De Mita
1989-1991 Giulio Andreotti
1991-1992 Giulio Andreotti
1992-1993 Giuliano Amato
1993-1994 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (independent)
1994-1995 Silvio Berlusconi (center-right)
1995-1996 Lamberto Dini (independent)
1996-1998 Romano Prodi (center-left)
1998-2000 Massimo D'Alema (center-left)
2000-2001 Giuliano Amato (center-left)
2001-2006 Silvio Berlusconi (center-right)
2006-2008 Romano Prodi (center-left)
2008-2011 Silvio Berlusconi (center-right)
2011-2013 Mario Monti (independent)
2013-2014 Enrico Letta (big coalition)
2014-2016 Matteo Renzi (center-left)
2016-2018 Paolo Gentiloni (center-left)
2018- Giuseppe Conte

Italy's international relations

In the period after 1945, Italy has been a driving force in the work for international cooperation. The country joined NATO in 1949, the Council of Europe in 1949, the United Nations in 1955, the European Coal and Steel Alliance in 1951 and the EEC (later the European Union) in 1958. Italy is also a member of the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and the cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank.

Italy is represented in Norway at its embassy in Oslo, while Norway is represented in Italy by embassy in Rome. There are Norwegian consulates in Bari, Bologna, Cagliari, Florence, Genoa, La Spezia, Messina, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Savona, Torino, Trieste and Venice.

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