Premiership and Leadership from D’Alema to Amato and Beyond

in Italian Politics

This chapter analyzes the unexpected and rapid end of the second

Government led by Massimo D’Alema; the equally unexpected, but

less rapid and more complex, birth of the second Government led

by Giuliano Amato; and the selection of the Center-Left’s next

Prime Ministerial candidate. I argue that the crisis of the D’Alema

Government and the formation of the Amato Government were

complicated by the crosscutting of two divisive issues: the referendum

on the electoral system and the choice of the Center-Left’s

Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2001 election. Conversely, the

way in which the Amato Government was created reveals that, in

spite of the electoral reform known as mattarellum, the relationships

between parties and Parliament, Parliament and Government,

and the triangulation among the president, Government and

Parliament have changed little, or not at all, in the Italian Republic.

Italy’s political-institutional transition is destined to continue

until a new political and institutional configuration comes into

being. In turn, the ways in which the Olive Tree/Center-Left chose

its candidate to Palazzo Chigi show that the coalition has not yet

been able to arrive at appropriate and consensual rules.

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