Arab Today, arab today italian president asks monti to stay in office calls for new electoral law
Last Updated : GMT 01:22:36
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Italian president asks Monti to stay in office, calls for new electoral law

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Arab Today, arab today Italian president asks Monti to stay in office, calls for new electoral law

Rome - XINHUA

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Tuesday called on the emergency technocrat cabinet of Prime Minister Mario Monti to stay in office until a new political government was elected in the next spring. Napolitano also urged lawmakers to agree on a new electoral law to replace the current rules, widely criticized for distancing politicians from voters who in fact cannot chose their favorite candidates as party leaders have the power to name representatives on blocked lists. The president\'s remarks came after over half of Sicily\'s voters snubbed Sunday\'s elections for a new governor and regional assembly in what is a prime example of the Italian public\'s disaffection with its political class. The protest Five Star Movement, led by comedian Beppe Grillo, posted a surprisingly strong result, with its candidate, Giancarlo Cancelleri, receiving 18 per cent of the vote. Meanwhile, former premier Silvio Berlusconi threatened on Saturday to end his People of Freedom (PdL) party\'s support for Monti\'s government and provoke a snap election. But according to local analysts, Napolitano, who appointed Monti to succeed Berlusconi last November on the edge of a dramatic debt crisis, will keep watch on the technocratic cabinet, which has succeeded in bringing down borrowing costs by pushing through a series of budget measures. \"Berlusconi party\'s lawmakers know well that in case the Monti government collapses, they would lose their place in parliament,\" Gianfranco Pasquino, a politician and political science professor at Bologna University, told Xinhua. \"I am sure the present government will last until April, which is Napolitano\'s will. Though Monti has to deal with totally untrustworthy politicians, he is supported by a president who is very reliable and resolute,\" he said. Speaking of Sicily\'s polls, the professor noted they clearly showed the increased dissatisfaction of Italians with the political class, which has been hit by an escalation of corruption scandals across its entire spectrum. In his view, the Five Star Movement might win 15 to 20 percent of national votes next year. Pasquino added that lawmakers would try to reform the current electoral law, but it would not be an easy task. Like in the new Sicilian regional assembly, building alliances to solidify a majority will be the real \"problem\" at the national level, he said. \"Should I make a prediction for next year scenario, I would say there will be a center-left government led by Pier Luigi Bersani of Democratic Party (PD) and Nichi Vendola of Left, Ecology and Freedom party (SEL), but with many difficulties,\" Alberto Mingardi, the director general of Italian libertarian think tank Istituto Bruno Leoni, told Xinhua. On Tuesday, Monti asked politicians not to cower from adopting unpopular measures when they start running the country again in 2013. He said parties should learn from the fact that his unelected cabinet of non-political ministers enjoyed high approval ratings despite having passed painful reforms. However, Mingardi was not confident that the team coming out from national elections will be able to deliver a truthful message to the world. \"Though the European regulations will keep Italy on the austerity path, it seems clear that thecountry will not manage to have an internationally credible leadership from the 2013 vote,\" he said. \"Unfortunately, presently there is not a leader in Italy able to achieve political support on the necessary things to do for the country\'s future,\" Mingardi pointed out. Yet, there is an important and new \"legacy\" Monti\'s term can leave to the country, \"the ambition of Italians to have a serious leadership,\" he said. .  

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