Elections of the President of the Italian Republic: will it be Mattarella bis?

The President of the Italian Republic is elected by the Parliament in joint session and by the delegates of the Regions. His term lasts for 7 years and he has his official residence at the Quirinal Palace. The article 83 of the Italian Constitution says that the election of the President takes place by secret ballot with a two-thirds majority of the assembly. After the third ballot, an absolute majority is sufficient. The election of the President of the Republic is one of the few cases in which the Parliament meets in joint session of the two chambers of Deputies and Senators. The meeting takes place at Palazzo Montecitorio, which is the seat of the Chamber of Deputies, and is convened by the President of the same, 30 days before the term of the Head of State expires. In this regard, the Chambers will meet precisely on January 24th. One thousand and nine electors will participate in the election, including 58 regional delegates, 630 Deputies and 321 Senators, including 6 life senators: Giorgio Napolitano (former President of the Republic), Mario Monti, Elena Cattaneo, Renzo Piano, Carlo Rubbia and Liliana Segre. 

This year, due to Covid 19, the historic “catafalques” will disappear with their red velvet drapes that for years have kept the secrecy of the vote away from the prying eyes of those present and from the cameras of journalists, to be replaced by open aired anti-Covid booths, without curtains

The President of the Republic is defined as a “neutral” power, as he is outside the tripartite division between the legislative, executive and judicial powers. In fact, he carries out a surveillance and coordination function according to the rules of the Italian constitution of which he is the guarantor. This role has been brilliantly played by the current president Sergio Mattarella. Politician, jurist, academic and lawyer, he was elected the 12th president of the Italian Republic on February 3, 2015. He began his mandate at the Quirinale after an intense political career with a Catholic-social orientation spanning no less than 7 legislatures. He has played highly prestigious roles as a member of the Parliamentary Commission on terrorism and massacres and of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the Mafia. He was also Minister of Education (1989-1990) and Minister of Defense (1999-2001). Finally, on 5 October, 2011 he was elected judge of the Constitutional Court of which he was a member until his election as President of the Republic. He has been a mild-mannered President of few words, during “demanding, complex and full of emotions years”, as he said in one of his speech.

These characteristics of him have always conveyed the full support of all political forces to him, despite 5 different governments and a pandemic, as he was able to strip himself of any previous belonging and take charge exclusively of the general interest. 

But the expiry of the mandate is now near , and many people hope for a Mattarella bis. JUST A FEW DAYS AND WE WILL KNOW.

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Francesco D’Auria


II A – Furci Siculo

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