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Discussion needed on third term, regions tell government

Discussion needed on third term, regions tell government

Unfair to decide on the regions without the regions says Fedriga

ROME, 23 February 2024, 15:07

ANSA English Desk




Italy's regions on Friday called on the government to table a discussion on the possibility of removing the existing two-mandate limit to allow governors to serve three consecutive terms in office after a proposal by the League to this effect was thrown out in the Senate.
    In a letter sent by the Friuli Venezia Giulia governor and president of the Conference of Regions Massimiliano Fedriga to Regional Affairs Minister Roberto Calderoli, the regions stressed the need "to start a constructive and collaborative confrontation with the government".
    They are also asking for the number of elected councillors in small regions to be increased to ensure party representation in executive bodies.
    "I feel I must advocate for the involvement of the regions in the decision-making process" on the possible introduction of a third term in office "because it would seem profoundly unfair to decide on the institutional and democratic organisation of the regions without the regions" themselves, said Fedriga, who is serving his second term, separately.
    The League exponent also dismissed Thursday's rejection by the Senate Constitutional Affairs Committee of his party's proposal in a vote that split the majority as "normal parliamentary dynamics".
    While League lawmakers voted in favour of the amendment, those of Premier Giorgia Meloni's right-wing Brothers of Italy (FDI) party - the main party in the right-centre majority - and the other alliance partner, the centre-right Forza Italia of Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, voted against, together with the main opposition groups, the Democratic Party (Pd) and the Five Star Movement (M5S).
    League leader and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini afterwards played down the rejection, insisting that in parliament the assembly, not the committee, is sovereign.
    On Friday the League's Lombardy Governor Attilio Fontana, who last year was re-elected for a second mandate, said he would be "available" to run for a third term in office in due course.
    The divisions are not only within the right-centre majority, however.
    Emilia Romagna's centre-left opposition Democratic Party governor Stefano Bonaccini and Puglia's independent centre-left governor Michele Emiliano have both said they are in favour of the possibility of serving three consecutive terms, and Bonaccini on Friday slammed the decision by PD lawmakers to vote against the move in the Senate committee.
    On Thursday Meloni shrugged off the divisions, saying the issue is not part of the government programme and does not represent a problem for the majority.
    She is reported to be against dropping the two-term limit because she wants more regions to be in the hands of representatives of her FdI in order to reflect the fact that the party is now the driving force of the majority alliance.
    Photo: Friuli Venezia Giulia Governor Massimiliano Fedriga.


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