Politics of Sicily

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Sicily

The Politics of Sicily, Italy takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democracy, whereby the President of Regional Government is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the Regional Government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Sicilian Regional Assembly. Rosario Crocetta is the current President since 2012.

After World War II Sicily became a stronghold of the Christian Democracy, in opposition to the Italian Communist Party and in coalition with the local Social Christian Sicilian Union (USCS). After the dissolution of these parties, the region was governed always by center-right coalition including Silvio Berlusconi's party Forza Italia and the Christian-conservative party Union of Christian and Centre Democrats, from which was President Salvatore Cuffaro. Since then, Union of Christian and Centre Democrats is always in the government of the Region: at the beginning with the center-right (1996-2008), then with the President Raffaele Lombardo's Movement for Autonomies (2008-2012), and finally with the center-left (since 2012).[1]

Traditionally, Sicily gives centre-right results during election. The Communists and their successors (the Democratic Party of the Left, the Democrats of the Left and the present-day Democratic Party) have never won in the region until 2012. Sicily is now governed by a center-left coalition between Democratic Party and the center-party Union of Christian and Centre Democrats.

Legislative Branch[edit]

The Sicilian Regional Assembly is composed of 90 members (or deputies). 80 deputies are elected in provincial constituencies by proportional representation using the largest remainder method with a Droop quota and open lists, while 10 councillors (elected in a general ticket) come from a "regional list", including the President-elect. One seat is reserved for the candidate who comes second.

The Assembly is elected for a five-year term, but, if the President suffers a vote of no confidence, resigns or dies, under the simul stabunt, simul cadent prevision introduced in 2001 (literally they will stand together or they will fall together), also the Assembly is dissolved and a snap election is called

Executive branch[edit]

Main article: President of Sicily

The Regional Cabinet (Giunta Regionale) is presided by the President of the Region (Presidente della Regione), who is elected for a five-year term, and is currently composed by 11 members: the President and 10 regional assessors (Assessori, literally "aldermen"), including a Vice President (Vice Presidente).

Originally appointed by the Sicilian Regional Assembly, since 2001 de jure, he is elected by popular vote every five years under universal suffrage: the candidate who receives a plurality of votes, is elected.

His office is connected to the Regional Assembly (ARS), which is elected contextually: one fifth of the assembly seats are generally reserved to his supporters, which are wholesale elected concurrently with the President. The Assembly and the President are linked by an alleged relationship of confidence: if the President resigns or he is dismissed by the Assembly, a snap election is called for both the legislative and the executive offices, because in no case the two bodies can be chosen separately. The popular election of the President and the relationship of confidence between him and the legislature, allow to identify the Sicilian model of government as a particular form of semi-presidential system.

The President of Sicily promulgates regional laws and regulations. He can receive special administrative functions by the national government. The President is one of the 90 members of the Regional Assembly and, in this capacity, he can propose new laws. He appoints and dismiss the Regional Cabinet (called Giunta Regionale in Italian). The Cabinet is composed by regional assessors (assessori, literally "aldermen"[2]) who can be members of the Council at the same time. Assessors should not be confused with the ministers: according to Italian administrative law, assessors only receive delegations from the President to rule a bureau or an agency, the Region being a single legal person, not divided in ministries. One assessor can be appointed Vice President. The President can also appoint four under-secretaries (sottosegretari) to help the President in his functions.

The Regional Cabinet prepares the budget, appoints the boards of public regional agencies and companies, menages assets, develops projects of governance, and resorts to the Constitutional Court of Italy if it thinks that a national law may violate regional powers. The President and the Cabinet are two different authorities of the Region: in matters within its competence, the Cabinet has the power to vote to give its approval.

List of Presidents[edit]

The current President of Sicily is Rosario Crocetta, who is serving for his first term after winning the 2012 regional election.

Presidents of Sicily
President Party Term Legislature
Giuseppe Alessi DC 1947–1949 I Legislature
Franco Restivo DC 1949–1951 I Legislature
Franco Restivo DC 1951–1955 II Legislature
Giuseppe Alessi DC 1955–1956 III Legislature
Giuseppe La Loggia DC 1956–1958 III Legislature
Silvio Milazzo DC 1958–1959 III Legislature
Silvio Milazzo USCS 1959–1960 IV Legislature
Benedetto Majorana della Nicchiara USCS 1960–1961 IV Legislature
Salvatore Corallo PSI 1961 IV Legislature
Giuseppe D'Angelo DC 1961–1963 IV Legislature
Giuseppe D'Angelo DC 1963–1964 V Legislature
Francesco Coniglio DC 1964–1967 V Legislature
Vincenzo Giummarra DC 1967 VI Legislature
Vincenzo Carollo DC 1967–1969 VI Legislature
Mario Fasino DC 1969–1971 VI Legislature
Mario Fasino DC 1971–1972 VII Legislature
Vincenzo Giummarra DC 1972–1974 VII Legislature
Angelo Bonfiglio DC 1974–1976 VII Legislature
Angelo Bonfiglio DC 1976–1978 VIII Legislature
Piersanti Mattarella DC 1978–1980 VIII Legislature
Mario D'Acquisto DC 1980–1981 VIII Legislature
Mario D'Acquisto DC 1981–1982 IX Legislature
Calogero Lo Giudice DC 1982–1983 IX Legislature
Santi Nicita DC 1983–1984 IX Legislature
Modesto Sardo DC 1984–1985 IX Legislature
Rino Nicolosi DC 1985–1986 IX Legislature
Rino Nicolosi DC 1986–1991 XI Legislature
Vincenzo Leanza DC 1991–1992 XII Legislature
Giuseppe Campione DC 1992–1993 XII Legislature
Francesco Martino PLI/FI 1993–1995 XII Legislature
Matteo Graziano PPI 1995–1996 XII Legislature
Giuseppe Provenzano FI 1996–1998 XIII Legislature
Giuseppe Drago CCD 1998 XIII Legislature
Angelo Capodicasa DS 1998–2000 XIII Legislature
Vincenzo Leanza FI 2000–2001 XIII Legislature
Salvatore Cuffaro CDU/UDC 2001–2006 XIV Legislature
Salvatore Cuffaro UDC 2006–2008 XV Legislature
Raffaele Lombardo MpA 2008–2012 XVI Legislature
Rosario Crocetta PD since 2012 XVII Legislature

Local government[edit]

Provinces[edit]

Sicily is divided in nine provinces, which are a traditional form of local administration in the region. Socialist and Christian-democratic ideas had an early diffusion in quite all the provinces around World War I. After the Fascist parenthesis, left-wing parties found their strongholds in central agricultural provinces, especially in the Province of Enna, but they didn't succeeded in local elections, while Christian Democracy obtained high scores in others parts of the Region.

On 19 March 2013 provinces were abolished.[3]

Province Inhabitants established
Palermo 1,250,296 1860
Catania 1,167,006 1860
Messina 651,921 1860
Agrigento 453,416 1860
Trapani 436,459 1860
Siracusa 404,271 1860
Ragusa 320,003 1927
Caltanissetta 270,102 1927
Enna 171,921 1927

Municipalities[edit]

Sicily is also divided in 390 comuni (municipalities), which have even more history, having been established in the Middle Ages when they were the main places of government. 15 comuni have more than 50,000 inhabitants.

Municipality Inhabitants Mayor Party Election
Palermo 654,121 Leoluca Orlando Italy of Values 2012
Catania 291,274 Enzo Bianco Democratic Party 2013
Messina 241,310 Renato Accorinti Independent 2013
Siracusa 123,376 Giancarlo Garrozzo Democratic Party 2013
Marsala 82,933 Giulia Adamo Union of the Centre 2012
Gela 77,335 Angelo Fasulo Democratic Party 2009

Parties and elections[edit]

Latest regional election[edit]

The latest regional election, for the renewal of the Regional Assembly and the election of the President of Sicily, was held on 28 October 2012. Rosario Crocetta (Democratic Party), who had the support of the Union of the Centre, won over Nello Musumeci (The Right), who led a centre-right coalition including The People of Freedom. Crocetta won just 30.5% of the vote in a highly fragmented political landscape and the centre-left coalition obtained 39 regional deputies, 6 short of majority.

Candidates Regional lists Provincial lists Total
votes % seats Parties votes % seats group
Rosario Crocetta 617,073 30.47 9 Democratic Party 257,274 13.42 14 39
Union of the Centre 207,827 10.84 11
The Megaphone – Crocetta List (incl. ApI and PSI)[4][5] 118,346 6.17 5
Democratic Union for Consumers 100 0.00 0
Nello Musumeci 521,022 25.73 1 The People of Freedom 247,351 12.91 12 21
Popular Construction 112,169 5.85 4
Musumeci List (incl. The Right)[6] 107,397 5.60 4
Alliance of the Centre 5,017 0.26 0
Giancarlo Cancelleri 368,006 18.17 Five Star Movement 285,202 14.88 15 15
Gianfranco Micciché 312,112 15.41 Party of the SiciliansMpA 182,737 9.53 10 15
Great South 115,444 6.02 5
Future and Freedom 83,891 4.37 0
PPA – Piazza Pulita List 959 0.05 0
Giovanna Marano 122,633 6.10 Italy of Values 67,738 3.53 0
Left Ecology FreedomFdSGreens 58,753 3.06 0
Mariano Ferro 31,390 1.55 The People of Pitchforks 23,965 1.20 0
Cateno De Luca 25,058 1.23 Sicilian Revolution 23,966 1.20 0
Gaspare Sturzo 19,248 0.95 Sturzo President 14,929 0.77 0
Giacomo Di Leo 4,495 0.22 Workers' Communist Party 2,031 0.10 0
Lucia Pinsone 3,659 0.18 Voluntaries for Italy 2,278 0.11 0
Total candidates 2,024,696 100.00 10 Total parties 1,915,830 100.00 80 90

Source: Sicily Region

References[edit]

External links[edit]