Premiership ‘mother of all reforms’ says Meloni

The proposed introduction of the direct election of the premier set out in a constitutional reform bill approved by the government is “the mother of all reforms”, Premier Giorgia Meloni said on Friday.

“In the last 75 years of Republican history we have had 68 governments with an average life span of one and a half years,” Meloni told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

“This is the mother of all the reforms that can be made in Italy, because if we take a step back and look at the last 20 years there have been 12 prime ministers,” she added.

Meloni said the proposed constitutional reform “guarantees two objectives that we have been committed to from the beginning: the right of citizens to decide who governs them, putting an end to power games and technical governments” or ones that “go over the heads of citizens”, and the guarantee “that those chosen by the people govern” with “stability”.

Under the current system, parties engage in government-formation talks after a general election and then the coalition that forms a ruling majority in parliament agrees on a figure to propose to the head of State to become premier.

That figure is not necessarily one of the politicians given by the parties as their premier candidate during the election campaign.

“When governments go home after one and a half years there is a weakness,” continued the premier, adding that “precisely because we are stable and strong we have a responsibility to seize this opportunity and leave this nation with something that can solve its structural problems”.

“The absence of stability has created a problem of international credibility in our interlocutions,” said Meloni.

She also insisted that the reform would in no way deprive the head of state of his prerogatives.

“The role of the President of the Republic is one of absolute guarantee and we have decided not to touch his competences, except for the appointment of the prime minister”, who would be elected, she said.

The reform bill, continued Meloni, brings together “the suggestions gathered during discussions with both the majority and the opposition, as well as with civil society”.

It is a measure that will hopefully “meet with the broadest possible consensus” and that the government “does not want to impose”, she concluded.