The great game of the Quirinale has been enriched with a new chapter after two senators of the Democratic Party (Zanda and Parrini) presented a bill to insert the ban on the ineligibility of the head of State after one term and the abolition of the blank semester in the Constitution.
The provision aims to modify two key articles of the Charter (numbers 85 and 88), even if according to some analysts its real intent would have been the desire to convince President Sergio Mattarella to accept a timed re-election until the approval of the reform – which could not arrive before 2023, therefore coinciding with the conclusion of the current legislature.
The president was astonished and irritated at a maneuver which confirms, if ever it were needed, how the confirmation or not of the current head of State is one of the great issues that will influence next year’s election. If not the main one.
Mattarella had already reiterated that he was unwilling to carry out a second term and that Giorgio Napolitano’s exceptional precedent cannot become customary. Yet this did not stop some political actors from trying the easiest way in view of the insidious January vote. The one that precisely foresees his re-election.
The profile of the next President of the Republic is truly indissolubly linked to the tenure of the current government and the length of the legislature. A known fact that explains the recklessness of certain moves. A few days ago PD Secretary Enrico Letta admitted that if the ruling majority were to be split in the vote for the Quirinale, this could also mean the end of the government itself.
Which raises a paradox: the parties and leaders who claim to work to keep the Draghi government alive until 2023 also have the burden of starting to say who could realistically get a large majority in Parliament, to overcome unscathed the threats represented by saboteurs and snipers lurking in the secret ballot.
At stake should be the need to establish a common method to avoid dangerous parliamentary twists in a still very delicate phase for the life of the country. In addition to sharing political and institutional priorities. It would be very unusual for an alliance that announces that it wants to stay together for another year in order to support Prime Minister Draghi’s government of national unity, instead ends up splitting up and waging war on the name of the future head of State.
Deciding to clear the field of flag candidates will not be a painless affair or a small undertaking. For example, for the center-right this would mean discarding the hypothesis of an election of Silvio Berlusconi – who is only fifty major voters away from the coveted goal but who represents the most divisive presidential candidate among those proposed so far.
In a perfect world, the leaders of the ruling majority might agree that perhaps, at this point, the best choice would be to leave Draghi in his post as head of government and focus on the name of the President of the Republic. This would have beneficial effects on the future of the legislature and would give the executive more time to ground the reforms for which it was called to Palazzo Chigi, as well as to continue the battle against the pandemic.
According to various observers, however, the real problems will begin right when the political forces will have to get together to elect the new president. In short, the risk of a confrontation is high.
Finally, it is impossible not to take into account at least two other factors whose impact will be decisive in guiding the outcome of the match. First of all, what will Draghi answer to those who would like him at the Quirinale, also to close the phase of forced cohabitation at Palazzo Chigi which has stripped the political leadership of their traditional role.
Secondly, we must consider the attitude of the United States, our protector and guarantor, for which the profile of the Quirinale tenant has a significant weight on the geopolitical position of Italy in the American empire. And that they will not fail to make themselves heard in this very important match.