Matteo Timiani

The President of the Republic and the power of dissolution of the Parliament

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Constitution, President of the Republic, Power of Dissolution

The Author analyzes how the power of dissolution of the Parliament has been exercised in Italy since 1994. During the 1994-1995 it appeared to be a power that belonged exclusively to the President of the Republic who decided if, how and when to dissolve Parliament. The Author then goes on to show that, on the contrary from 1996 onwards, with the stabilisation of the bipolar political system, the power of dissolution appeared to assume the form of a "self-dissolution", i.e. a power in the hands of the parliamentary majority. In practice, however, despite various government crises, the parties of the majority always opted for a continuation of Parliament. In 2008, with the fall of the Prodi Government, Italy entered into a new phase with the attempt to form another government so as to reform the electoral system. The President of the Republic only dissolved Parliament after this attempt had failed, thus demonstrating that the exercise of this power is an extrema ratio, according to which the President of the Republic simply acknowledges the position of the political parties and carries out their will. In conclusion, the Author observes that there is no homogenous trend with regard to the role played by the President of the Republic due to the instability of Italy's political system, however he does observe that one rule is confirmed: the President plays a greater role in the presence of a weak political system, while he acts as a notary when the political system is stronger and more stable.

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