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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