Marianne : After two inconclusive ballots, the Italian presidential election is getting stuck in the swamps of politics. Why do the parties fail to agree on the choice of the next head of state by electing, for example, Mario Draghi?
Gianluca Passarelli : In fact, the political parties have doubts about all the candidates. In the end, they will probably elect the candidate who will be able to guarantee them that the government will hold out until the end of the legislature in 2023. The choice of the next head of state is a purely political question because the parties want to avoid above all the bad scenario of an institutional crisis with the key, early legislative elections.
“An outgoing President of the Council cannot affirm that once elected Head of State, he will do everything possible to intervene in the distribution of the various portfolios. »
This is the real fundamental question because with the adoption in 2020 of a proposal for a constitutional revision eliminating 345 seats for deputies and senators, some of the parliamentarians will not be re-elected next year. They therefore prefer to wait for the natural expiry of the legislature to save time.
During the last two days, Mario Draghi, who would see himself as head of state, has begun consultations with party leaders but he has obviously not convinced them. Why ?
Mario Draghi was not able to promise them that there will be no early elections because he has no political party behind him. He has many friends and also enemies but no structure to support him. He did not know how to negotiate with the party leaders on the question of the composition of the next government by promising them such and such a ministry. He can’t do it. It would be an institutional mistake.
An outgoing President of the Council cannot affirm that once elected Head of State, he will do everything possible to intervene in the distribution of the various portfolios. It is also for this reason that he cannot promise them that he will not dissolve the two Chambers, one of the prerogatives of the President of the Republic, according to the Constitution. Parliamentarians will therefore prefer to elect someone who knows the mysteries of politics well, who will not go from one palace to another and who can, therefore, make promises to them.
Most political parties are calling for Mario Draghi to remain in the presidency of the Council to reassure Europe. What would be the ideal solution for Italy and for Europe?
To save the goat and the cabbage, the current tandem would have to remain in place. This means re-electing outgoing President Sergio Mattarella and leaving Mario Draghi as President of the Council because he has a lot of prestige and credibility on the international scene. His address book is thicker than the Old and New Testaments and his name concerning Italy is the first on the list of interlocutors of current foreign leaders like Emmanuel Macron or Joe Biden.
“Since the fall of the Berlusconi government in 2011, the perimeter of the President of the Republic has actually widened to compensate for the weakness and the deficit of the political parties. »
Mario Draghi is widely listened to because he knows how to give answers to major problems in political, economic and financial circles. But for Mario Draghi to remain in place, it will be necessary to elect a credible and recognized personality at the head of the state. You can’t name anyone above him. However, the candidates who are currently on the starting line do not correspond to this type of profile.
Given the fact that Italy is a parliamentary republic and that the Head of State’s scope of intervention is limited, is Mario Draghi more useful to Europe as President of the Council or as head of the ‘State ?
To tell the truth, for Europe or more exactly for the European Commission because the European Union has several facets, Mario Draghi is a pledge of guarantee, of stability. So whether he’s at the presidency of the Council or at the head of the state doesn’t change anything, the important thing is that he’s present. This is all the more true since during the last ten years, that is to say since the fall of the Berlusconi government in 2011, the perimeter of the President of the Republic has actually widened to compensate for the weakness and the deficit political parties.
The last heads of state have sometimes really replaced a political class that was sorely lacking in thickness. However, this trend should be only a parenthesis because unless the Constitution is changed, the possibility for the President of the Republic to intervene at all times risks becoming a tradition, a habit, an unwritten norm. .
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