government of Italy


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government of Italy

  1. 1. CAGAYAN STATE UNIVERSITY Caritan Campus GRADUATE SCHOOL Government of Foreign Powers Government of Italy  The politics of Italy take place in a framework of a parliamentary, democratic republic, and of a multi-party system.  The Italian State is highly centralized, with a central state authority (the Government), 20 regions and about a hundred provinces. The prefect of each of the provinces is appointed by and answerable to the central government, which he locally represents.  The national constitution provides for 20 regions with limited governing powers. Five regions (Sardinia, Sicily, Trentino-Alto Adige, Valle d'Aosta, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia) have special autonomy statutes. The other 15 regions were established in 1970 and vote for regional "councils." The establishment of regional governments throughout Italy has brought some decentralization to the national governmental machinery.  Italy is governed by a constitution that came into effect on January 1, 1948. By the terms of the constitution, the reestablishment of the Fascist Party is prohibited; direct male heirs of the house of Savoy are ineligible to vote or hold any public office; and recognition is no longer accorded to titles of nobility, although titles in existence prior to October 28, 1922, may be used as part of the bearer’s name. I. Executive Power  The executive branch of Italy’s government is composed of the president, the council of ministers, and the civil service.  The president of Italy is elected for a seven-year term by a joint session of parliament augmented by 58 regional representatives.  The president must be at least 50 years old. Although head of the government, the president usually has little to do with the actual running of it.  These duties are in the hands of the prime minister—who is chosen by the president and must have the confidence of parliament—and the Council of Ministers.  The prime minister (sometimes called the premier, or, in Italy, president of the Council of Ministers) generally is the leader of the party that has the largest representation in the Chamber of Deputies. 1. Head of State - As the head of state, the President of the Republic represents the unity of the nation and has many of the duties previously given to the king of Italy. - The president serves as a point of connection between the three branches of power: he is elected by the lawmakers, he appoints the executive, and is Prepared by: Submitted to: Mr. Herbert Saquing Corpuz Dr. Panfilo Canay MAEd- Social Studies Professor
  2. 2. CAGAYAN STATE UNIVERSITY Caritan Campus GRADUATE SCHOOL Government of Foreign Powers the president of the judiciary. The president is also the commander-in-chief of armed forces. - The President of the Republic is elected by an electoral college consisting of both houses of Parliament and 58 regional representatives for a seven-year term. - His election needs a wide majority that is progressively reduced from two- thirds to one-half plus one of the votes as the ballots progress. - The only Presidents ever to be elected on the first ballot are Francesco Cossiga and Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. Mr. Ciampi was replaced by Giorgio Napolitano, who was elected on 10 May 2006. While it is not forbidden by law, no president has ever served two terms. - Usually, the President tries to stay out of the political debate, and to be an institutional guarantee for all those involved in the political process. The president can also reject openly anti-constitutional laws by refusing to sign them, since he acts as the guardian of the Constitution of Italy. 2. Prime Minister - The President of the Republic appoints the Council of Ministers and its President (the prime minister). - The prime minister advises the President of the Republic on the composition of the rest of the Council of Ministers (the cabinet), which comprises the ministers in charge of the various governmental departments. - In practice, the President accepts prime minister's advice, and submits the proposed Council for a vote of confidence from both parliamentary chambers. - The government has the power to issue decrees. Decrees have to be confirmed in the parliament, and "" has been a problem in recent years, as governments try to reform the structure of the state using chiefly decrees instead of passing laws directly through the parliament. - The prime minister, through the cabinet, effectively runs the government of Italy. The current Prime Minister is Silvio Berlusconi. II. Legislative Power  The Italian parliament consists of the Senate (upper house) and the Chamber of Deputies (lower house).  Although both houses are legally equal, the Chamber of Deputies is politically more influential, and most leading politicians in Italy are members of it.  In both houses, members are elected by popular suffrage (vote) to serve five-year terms of office.  The Chamber of Deputies has 630 seats. The Senate has 315 seats for elected members, plus 10 seats reserved for “life members,” who include past presidents and their honorary nominees.  Citizens must be 25 years of age or older to vote for senators; in all other elections, all citizens over age 18 are eligible to vote.  Members of the Senate must be at least 40 years old; members of the Chamber of Deputies, at least 25.  For many years, Italian citizens voted for political parties, and individual representatives were named by party leaders in a proportional manner. But as a result of corruption scandals in the early 1990s, a number of public referendums were passed in 1993 that mandated a more direct electoral system. Prepared by: Submitted to: Mr. Herbert Saquing Corpuz Dr. Panfilo Canay MAEd- Social Studies Professor
  3. 3. CAGAYAN STATE UNIVERSITY Caritan Campus GRADUATE SCHOOL Government of Foreign Powers  Under that system, 75 percent of all seats were filled by direct candidate ballot, and the remaining 25 percent were distributed among qualifying parties according to a system of proportional representation.  However, in December 2005 the parliament voted to reform the electoral law to reinstate full proportional representation. The revised election system introduced three separate thresholds for parties and coalitions to qualify for seats in parliament: Smaller parties that belong to a coalition must obtain at least 2 percent of the national vote, stand-alone parties must obtain at least 4 percent, and coalitions as a whole must obtain at least 10 percent. III. Judicial System  The Italian judicial system is based on Roman law modified by the Napoleonic code and later statutes. It is based on a mix of the adverserial and inquisitorial civil law systems, although the adversarial system was adopted in the Appeal Courts in 1988. Appeals are treated almost as new trials, and three degrees of trial are present. The third is a legitimating trial.  Judicial review exists under certain conditions in the Constitutional Court, or Corte Costituzionale, which can reject anti-constitutional laws after scrutiny.  The Constitutional Court is composed of 15 judges one of which is the elected from the court itself. One third of the judges are appointed by the President of the Italian Republic, one-third are elected by Parliament and one-third are elected by the ordinary and administrative supreme courts.  Italy has not accepted compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.  The Minister of Justice is Angelino Alfano Prepared by: Submitted to: Mr. Herbert Saquing Corpuz Dr. Panfilo Canay MAEd- Social Studies Professor