Berlusconi defends a presidential system in Italy, calling for Mattarella’s resignation

The former prime minister qualifies that he does not want to “attack” the current president

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has advocated this Friday for the implementation of a presidential system in Italy and has done so by suggesting that, if this proposal from the right prospers, the current head of state, Sergio Mattarella, should resign.

Berlusconi has wielded that this initiative is not new and dates back to 1995. It consists, in his words, of “the people choosing directly who they want to govern them”, after a series of crises in the parliamentary and executive spheres.

In fact, the leader of Forza Italia was the last prime minister to be elected to office after running in an election as head of a party list, something he himself has recalled in an interview on Radio Capital.

The reconversion of Italy into a presidential republic is part of the battery of proposals of the conservative bloc, which starts as favorite in the September elections. Berlusconi is clear that, if the reform succeeds, “Mattarella should resign” so that a new head of state with more powers could be elected, according to ‘Il Corriere della Sera’.

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His words have led to all kinds of criticism from political rivals, of which Berlusconi has come out against on Facebook to deny that he had “attacked” Mattarella or called for his resignation. He has claimed that he merely said something “obvious” about the need to hold a vote to nominate the future president and that Mattarella “could be re-elected” if he runs.


Currently, the appointment of the president rests with the Parliament. Berlusconi himself tried in vain to become president of Italy at the end of the first term, but the lack of consensus among the various parties and the fragility of Mario Draghi’s government, now in office, led Mattarella to prolong a stage that he considered finished.

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The leader of the Democratic Party (PD), Enrico Letta, has reproached Berlusconi on Twitter that after “bringing Draghi down” he now “attacks” Mattarella by speculating on his hypothetical resignation. According to Letta, who wants to form a center-left alliance, the right is “dangerous for the country”.

The leader of the 5 Star Movement (M5S), Giuseppe Conte, has asserted that with statements like Berlusconi’s the center-right “has taken off its mask,” while his former partner, Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio, sees them as “worrying,” according to several interviews echoed by Rai.

Giorgia Meloni, who at the head of Brothers of Italy aspires to be the future Prime Minister of Italy, has also spoken out in the last hours. “Presidentialism is a serious reform,” she has stressed to defend the initiative.

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