domenica 14 settembre 2014

Renzi, Finocchiaro move on election law, then PA

Meeting at premier's office designed to get action on

(ANSA) - Rome, September 11 - Premier Matteo Renzi met Thursday with Senate Leader Anna Finocchiaro to discuss fast action on the government's controversial election reform law followed by changes to streamline Italy's public administration, sources said. Renzi has said reforming Italy's election laws is crucial to more efficient government.

Their meeting comes as politicians conclude their summer break and return to the business of government - including a raft of reforms proposed by the Renzi government. The election law changes are part of a deal struck last winter between ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and Renzi, and have drawn the ire of many opposition politicians.

A bill based on that deal, nicknamed the Italicum, would replace the dysfunctional system that contributed to the inconclusive outcome of last year's general election, and was subsequently declared unconstitutional. It sets bars for small parties to force them into alliances and limit their veto power, and provides a 15% winner's bonus for a coalition that gets at least 37% to ensure it has a working majority in parliament.

Under this system, voters do not have the power to state on their ballots which candidate on any given party list they want to represent them in parliament - the so-called preferences. The Italicum also contemplates a run-off vote for the bonus seats if no coalition reaches the 37% threshold. The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) has been critical of how low this threshold is, and it also wants preferences to be included in any new election law. 

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