Friday, February 3

Italian parties choose Mattarella due to his inability to elect president

Such a long and winding road to end at the starting point. That is the feeling of the ordinary Italian and the observers of the election for the President of the Republic that began this Monday to replace the current president Sergio Mattarella after completing his seven-year term and that will end in a new term for the latter. .

It has been six days and seven votes in which the internal cohesion of the parties and of the majority that supports the national unity government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi has been put to the limit. There were times when an agreement seemed close or inevitable on the figure of Draghi himself and others when everything seemed about to blow up.

As the voting progressed, Mattarella’s name received more support from parliamentarians of all parties who deliberately disobeyed the order of their party leaders, protected by the secret ballot. Going from 166, 366 and 387 as the voting progressed. The “revolt of the pawns” as it has been baptized by the Italian press has played a fundamental role in the discredit of the Italian parties that with the nomination of Mattarella reiterate their deep crisis of legitimacy.

The climax occurred last night after the far-right leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, and that of the Five Star Movement, Giuseppe Conte, gave a joint message that they are working to elect the first female president in the history of Italy. . The afternoon negotiations that threw up the possibility of three candidates –Draghi, Mattarella or Pierferdinando Casini—were blown up again and the country was peering into the abyss of instability without a safety net.

The initiative by a woman aimed directly at the head of the Italian secret services, Elisabetta Belloni. As the hours progressed, the opposition to “a spy” occupying the head of state became more evident. The rapprochement between Salvini and Conte brought back memories of the populist government of 2018 between the League and Five Stars and made the coalition of the right and left implode. The right of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia as well as the leftist Democratic Party seemed obscene and typical of countries like Russia or Egypt the possibility that a profile like Belloni’s would occupy the presidency.

Draghi was always in all the pools, but he was not able to overcome the resistance of Conte and Salvini who feared that he would be too strong a president who would end up protecting the parties and establishing a de facto presidential system. In addition, they argued that if the parties had starred in this spectacle to choose a president, what less would happen with the election of a new prime minister if Draghi jumped to the presidency.

Mattarella must accept

The parties that support the government coalition have communicated their agreement with Mattarella, but the rite requires that they beg him to accept a new mandate. A new mandate that he had rejected countless times.

At 3:00 p.m. a delegation of parliamentary leaders went to the seat of the presidency. The Italian media pointed out that Mattarella would accept this new assignment as Giorgio Napoletano did in 2013, being him the first president to repeat in office. The constitution establishes that the mandate is seven years, but like Napoletano, nobody believes that Mattarella would fulfill it in its entirety and that he could resign shortly after the country holds a general election as scheduled in the spring of 2023.

At 4:30 p.m., the eighth vote will begin, in which Sergio Mattarella will likely be reconfirmed. The new ridicule of the Italian parties will strengthen Draghi as premier after having weakened these days when he was maneuvering to be president