Italy's constitutional court rejects League's bid to change electoral law

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's Constitutional Court on Thursday rejected a request by the hard-right League party to hold a referendum to introduce a first-past-the-post electoral system, triggering the ire of League chief Matteo Salvini and relief in government ranks. The opposition League is by far Italy's most popular party, polls show, and its support is heavily concentrated in northern regions

Reuters January 17, 2020 03:13:00 IST
Italy's constitutional court rejects League's bid to change electoral law

Italys constitutional court rejects Leagues bid to change electoral law

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's Constitutional Court on Thursday rejected a request by the hard-right League party to hold a referendum to introduce a first-past-the-post electoral system, triggering the ire of League chief Matteo Salvini and relief in government ranks.

The opposition League is by far Italy's most popular party, polls show, and its support is heavily concentrated in northern regions.

A first-past-the-post system would have raised the chances of a League-led centre-right bloc winning a big majority at the next election, piling pressure on the struggling government of the 5-Star Movement and the Democratic Party (PD).

The referendum proposed to change the electoral law simply by abolishing the proportional representation (PR) part of the current mixed system, but the court called this an "excessively manipulative" attempt at introducing a new system.

"It is a disgrace, it is the old system that defends itself ... We are sorry that the people are not allowed to decide: this is the return to pre-history of the worst Italian politics," Salvini wrote on Twitter.

The coalition of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the centre-left PD is currently negotiating to introduce a purely proportional law which would limit the right-wing coalition's chances of a clear election win.

The next election is not due until 2023 but with the four-month-old government bickering over policies from the economy to justice reform and migrant rights, there is constant speculation that it could collapse much earlier.

The PD and the 5-Star have already agreed on a first draft of a purely PR electoral system that would set a minimum threshold of 5% of votes needed for each party to obtain seats in parliament.

5-Star leader and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio applauded the Court's verdict.

"Let's go ahead with the proportional law project so that all Italian citizens are actually represented in parliament," he said in a statement.

(Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Gavin Jones and Giles Elgood)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.