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Italy approves slashing number of MPs in referendum

Ballots were cast nationwide for a referendum on cutting parliament numbers, which passed easily with alost 70 percent voting in favour.

Italy approves slashing number of MPs in referendum
People vote at a polling station in Florence with Covid-19 precations in place. Photo: AFP
Italians voted in the constitutional referendum on Sunday and Monday, at the same time as local and regional elections were held.
 
Voters were asked whether to approve an amendment to the the Italian Constitution, which would reduce the number of MPs in parliament from 630 to 400 in the lower house, and from 315 to 200 in the Senate.
 
The yes vote prevailed with 69.64%, compared to 30,36% fort the no vote, the Ansa news agency reported.
 
Meanwhile regional elections were also held in seven regions: Veneto, Campania, Tuscany, Liguria, Marche, Puglia and Valle d'Aosta.
 
A center-right coalition led by the once-powerful League leader Matteo Salvini won in three Italian regions but failed to snatch the left-wing stronghold of Tuscany, where the close-fought battle was seen as decisive for the country – and for Salvini.

READ ALSO: Italy's government boosted as the right fails to take Tuscany in key vote

The right triumphed instead in its usual strongholds of Veneto and Liguria, as well as taking Marche.

This means 15 of Italy's regions are now ruled by the right-wing coalition, which is made up of Salvini's league,  Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, and Fratelli d'Italia, led by Gioirgia Meloni.
 

But the defeat in the high-profile battle for the left-wing bastion of Tuscany, ruled by the left for 50 years, came as a blow for the right-wing coalition and a boost to the national government

 
The two-day vote went ahead despite a threatened resurgence of the coronavirus in Italy, which was the first country in Europe to go into lockdown and is now registering more than 1,500 new cases daily.

 

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POLITICS

Italy plans to stop ‘revolving door’ between judges and politicians

Italian lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a planned reform aimed at stopping the 'revolving door' between justice and government, as part of wider changes to the country's creaking judicial system.

Italy plans to stop 'revolving door' between judges and politicians

The proposed reform, which still has to be approved by the Italian Senate in the coming weeks, imposes significant limitations on the number of magistrates, prosecutors and judges looking to go into politics – a frequent move in Italy.

Under the submitted changes, a magistrate wishing to stand for election, whether national, regional or local, will not be able to do so in the region where they have worked over the previous three years.

At the end of their mandate, magistrates who have held elective positions will not be able to return to the judiciary – they will be moved to non-jurisdictional posts at, for example, the Court of Auditors or the Supreme Court of Cassation, according to local media reports.

Furthermore, magistrates who have applied for elective positions but have not been successful for at least three years will no longer be able to work in the region where they ran for office. 

The reform is part of a wider programme of changes to Italy’s tortuous judicial system. This is required by the European Commission to unlock billions of euros in the form of post-pandemic recovery funds.

Public perception of the independence of Italian courts and judges is among the worst in Europe, according to the EU’s justice scoreboard.

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