The Regions in Search of a New Institutional Identity

in Italian Politics
Gianfranco Baldini
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Salvatore Vassallo
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In the sessions of 10 and 12 November 1999, an ample majority of

both Chambers of Parliament approved the second deliberation of

the reform of articles 121, 122, 123 and 126 of the Constitution (491

votes in favour in the Chamber and 236 in the Senate). The principle

of direct election of regional presidents was thus introduced,

and the regions were given the power to determine their own form

of government. This is the initial result of the long effort to move

towards a federal constitution. Note too that the reform does not

modify the electoral system, whose first changes occurred in 1995.

Even so, it has set into motion processes that promise to influence

the stability of regional governments, the dynamics of political

competition, the structure of political careers, and the evolution of

relations between the center and the periphery.

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