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News > Italy

Italy: Meloni Sends Bill for Direct Election of Prime Minister

  • Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

    Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. | Photo: X/ @alfonslopeztena

Published 3 November 2023

This constitutional reform aims to prevent political instability in a country that has had 68 governments in 70 years.

On Friday, the Italian Council of Ministers approved a constitutional reform bill aimed at introducing the direct election of the Prime Minister by the voters.


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Since this is a constitutional reform, the bill will need to be approved by two-thirds of the legislators. To be ratified, the proposal will have to undergo a popular referendum.

"Our objective is to ensure that whoever is chosen by the people can govern for an entire term," said Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who described the proposal as "the mother of all reforms that can be made in Italy."

She contends that this constitutional reform is the only way for those "elected at the ballot box to have a full term in sight, implement their agenda, and guarantee stability."

Meloni emphasized that Italy has had 9 Prime Ministers and 12 governments in recent years. "Either Italian politicians are worse than the French or Germans, which I don't believe, or the system is flawed," Meloni stressed.

The reform includes a provision whereby, in the event of a Prime Minister's resignation or a vote of no confidence, a majority party member of Parliament can assume the role, subject to a confidence vote, and this can only be done once. 

The bill also eliminates the appointment of lifelong senators, although current lifelong senators, including former presidents of the Republic, will remain.

Currently, Italians vote for political parties or coalitions, which subsequently propose the name of a potential Prime Minister to the President. The Prime Minister must then undergo a vote of confidence in Parliament.

Through the direct election of the Prime Minister, Meloni aims to prevent political instability in Italy, a country that has had 68 governments in 70 years. Her goal is also to avoid the formation of governments by appointing technocrats during times of crisis.

This occurred, for example, during the 2021 pandemic when the former president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, became Prime Minister by appointment.

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