January 18, 2022 10:26 pm

A president in Italy? The secret “conclave” that could be historical

ROMA.- In the midst of a fourth wave that once again created alert and chaos – an explosion of contagions, quarantines and rules as intricate as a jungle – the countdown to the The election of the new president, the highest institutional position in the country, began in Italy. On February 3, the seven-year term of Sergio Mattarella expires and on January 24, at 3 o’clock, the solemn ritual will begin by which 1008 large electors – the senators and deputies of Parliament, plus regional delegates – will elect his successor.

The weather is effervescent, because you would have to have a crystal ball to know what will happen and the big question is whether, after 12 male presidents since 1946, the time has not come for a woman in the Quirinale Palace (seat of the presidency).

For Italy it would be a historical novelty. And it is a subject of much debate in these days of frenzied negotiations, most of them sottovoce, in view of “D-day”. Although there are more names of men in dance, such as that of the former president, Silvio Berlusconi, who, at age 85, has been campaigning for months with this objective – something not impossible, to the fright of many -, that of the current prime minister , Mario Draghi, one of the great favorites, and even that of Mattarella, who could be re-elected despite the fact that he made it clear several times that he did not want a second term, there are also possible women candidates.

Between them, first of all Marta Cartabia, famous jurist who in December 2019 became the first woman president of the Constitutional Court and current Minister of Justice of the Draghi government, 58 years old. Although it also sounds Paola Severino, renowned lawyer, vice-rector of a university in this capital and former Minister of Justice of Mario Monti, 73 years old; and of Letizia Moratti, former Mayor of Milan and former Minister of Education, 72 years old.

The suspense is enormous not only because Parliament is fragmented and at the moment there has been no agreement on any figure – neither male nor female – but, above all, because as the election of the president is secret, they tend to compare it to that of a conclave to elect pontiff, where everything is possible. And the famous saying that indicates that, in that election, the most secret in the world, “Who enters papa leaves cardinal”, it is also valid in this case. On previous occasions, presidential candidates who seemed “sung”, as on one occasion was the former president, Romano Prodi, ended up being defeated by “covered”, as was Mattarella at the time.

The President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella. Alex Zea – Europa Press

“Also for this election the Holy Spirit will be necessary”, told LA NACION, half jokingly, half seriously, an Italian political leader who preferred anonymity, who admitted that the negotiations between the parties to agree on a candidate in common they are still at sea and that everything is possible in the vote at the end of the month. This is a crucial election for Italy, where a parliamentary system governs in which the head of state has a key institutional role in the face of endemic political crises.

To be elected, the new president needs a two-thirds majority in the first three votes and, after the fourth, a simple majority. In recent weeks of uncertainty, several political leaders, such as former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, leader of the Five Star Movement (M5E), said that the time had come to vote for a woman. And a few days ago a group of female intellectuals led by the famous writer Dacia Maraini, in an open letter to parliamentarians, launched an appeal in that direction. “We want to say it clearly: the time has come to elect a woman, we believe that the time has come to make concrete that idea of ​​gender parity, so shared and encouraged by the most democratic and progressive forces in our country,” they wrote. “There is talk of gender democracy, but from this point of view Italy is a largely unfulfilled democracy, especially with regard to countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland. We know that in Italy there are women who by titles, merits, experience and balance can perfectly represent the entire nation, at the highest level. We are writing to you to make a click. The election of a woman for the presidency of the Republic will be ours and your strength ”.

In the last presidential election, in 2015, the most voted woman was former deputy Luciana Castellina, that obtained 37 preferences in the first scrutiny. In recent months of conversations ahead of the vote, the name of another respected and admired woman as a candidate for the presidential seat also emerged: Liliana Segre, a Holocaust survivor and senator for life, who immediately made it known that, at 91 years old, she was other plans.

A true reflection of the climate that reigns in Italy, even the singer Gianna Nannini, icon of Italian rock and famous throughout the world for “Notti magiche”, the song from the 1990 World Cup in Italy, with a video on Instagram officially proclaimed herself a candidate for The presidency.

But Natalia Aspesi, a veteran journalist for La Repubblica and one of the country’s most scathing feathers, left the chorus. In an editorial titled “A woman president? No, thank you ”, she was totally against this hypothesis. “It is clear that, if they now turn to women to untangle the skein, or rather, they assume the almost suicidal responsibility of holding together a country outside of itself, still a prisoner of the pandemic and without a vision of the future, it is because no one he wants to be stuck with such a failure, ”he wrote.

“The world is full of women heads of state who manage perfectly, but I don’t know why, as an Italian, I think it is better to be patient, let the worst of it be resolved by the men who have created it and, as women, wait for time. more serene. Sooner or later, it will happen ”, explained Aspesi.


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