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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