Democratic Party (Italy) leadership election, 2007
The 2007 Democratic Party leadership election was held on 14 October 2007 in order to elect the first leader of the Democratic Party, the largest political party in Italy at the time. The election was conducted as an open primary, with all Italian citizens aged at least 16 and non-Italian legal residents being eligible to vote. A minimum fee of one euro (initially chosen as five euros, lowered to one euro following direct requests by almost all leadership candidates) was requested to voters in order to taker part in the election.
The election, attended by over three and a half million voters, ended in a landslide victory for Walter Veltroni, Mayor of Rome and former leader of the Democrats of the Left, who gained 75.8% of the vote, being thus elected as first Democratic Party leader.
Following the national conventions of the Democrats of the Left (DS) and Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy (DL), Romano Prodi announced a list of 45 politicians which would have composed the Organising Committee of the Democratic Party. All members successively met on 18 June 2007 in order to decide the rules regarding the election of the first leader and the 2,400 members of the Constituting Assembly. A method was chosen in order to associate lists with leadership candidates. In order to run into the election, a number of 100 signatures were needed, whereas at least 2,000 approved signatures were requested to run into the leadership race.
30 July 2007 was the deadline for presenting leadership candidacies. All candidates were requested to be clearly associated with the Democratic Party project, as either members of the political subjects forming it or with no party association at all.
On the 30 July deadline, a total of eleven candidates officially registered their candidacy: Walter Veltroni, Rosy Bindi, Enrico Letta, Furio Colombo, Marco Pannella, Antonio Di Pietro, Mario Adinolfi, Pier Giorgio Gawronski, Jacopo G. Schettini, Lucio Cangini and Amerigo Rutigliano. Of these, Pannella and Di Pietro were stopped because of their involvement in external parties, whereas Cangini and Rutigliano did not manage to present the necessary 2,000 valid signatures for the 9pm deadline, and Colombo's candidacy was instead made into hiatus in order to give him 48 additional hours to integrate the required documentation; Colombo later decided to retire his candidacy citing his impossibility to fit with all the requirements. All rejected candidates had the chance against the decision in 48 hours' time, with Pannella and Rutigliano being the only two candidates to appeal against it. Both were rejected on 3 August.
- Walter Veltroni
Walter Veltroni was the incumbent Mayor of Rome and a former Democrats of the Left party leader. His candidacy was publicly requested on 20 June by incumbent Democrats of the Left leader Piero Fassino, who publicly asked Walter Veltroni, being suggested by several opinion polls suggesting Veltroni could potentially win hands down the leadership race.
Veltroni officially announced his intention to run at a widely publicized rally in Turin on 27 June. He ran in a joint ticket with deputy-leadership candidate Dario Franceschini, Olive Tree speaker at the Chamber of Deputies.
- Rosy Bindi
- Enrico Letta
Enrico Letta was the incumbent undersecretary in the Prodi II Cabinet, and a leading member of Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy. 40-year-old Letta announced his candidacy via a video posted online on his personal website on 24 July.
- Minor candidates
- Jacopo G. Schettini, economist on CSR, director of the European Standard Ethics Aei, announced his candidacy just few days after Mr. Veltroni on 3 July.
- Mario Adinolfi, 35-year-old journalist and blogger, and supporter of direct democracy and higher involvement of young people in the national political scenario. He announced his intention to run on 18 July through his blog.
- Pier Giorgio Gawronski, 50-year-old economist and Oxford graduate;
Rejected and withdrawn candidacies
- Marco Pannella
Marco Pannella was a historical leader of the Italian Radicals. He announced his intention to run for the party leadership on 21 July, but this was refused by the Presidency Office. Despite this, Pannella kept on campaigning for his candidacy and received support from Minister of International Commerce and fellow Radical Emma Bonino, who offered herself to campaign as potential deputy leader.
- Antonio Di Pietro
On the night of 30 July, a few minutes shy of the deadline, incumbent Minister of Infrastructures and Italy of Values party leader Antonio Di Pietro was officially unveiled as entering the race. His candidacy was however refused due to his commitments to Italy of Values.
- Furio Colombo
Furio Colombo was an elected Senator for Democrats of the Left, and former editor-in-law for left-wing newspaper L'Unità. He announced his candidacy on 15 July with an article published on L'Unità itself. His candidacy was initially made into hiatus by the Organizing Committee due to his failure in presenting the original copy of many of the requested 2,000 signatures. Colombo then announced his withdrawal from the competition, citing his impossibility to leave Rome in the days to come due to his Senate commitments.
- Minor candidates
- Lucio Cangini, former Mayor of Sarsina and local Democrats of the Left councilman. He did not however run in the leadership race after having failed to hand over a minimum of 2,000 valid signatures in support of his candidacy.
- Amerigo Rutigliano, leader of minor movement Unità Democratica Sinistra Europea (Democratic Union – European Left). He however handed over the necessary signatures with a 30 minutes delay with respect to the 9pm deadline, and his candidacy was therefore rejected.
|IPSOS||October 12, 2007||70.0–73.0||17.0–19.0||7.0–9.0||0.7–1.4||–||0.3–0.6|||
|EKMA Srl||October 10||74.0||14.0||8.0||1.0||0.4||0.4|||
|Gipieffe SpA||October 5||78.2||10.4||9.5||0.4||1.1||0.4|||
|EKMA Srl||October 2||73.0||15.0||7.0||1.5||0.2||0.5|||
|EKMA Srl||September 26||73.0||16.0||6.0||1.5||0.2||0.1|||
|EKMA Srl||September 19||70.0||18.0||7.5||2.5||0.3||0.3|||
|EKMA Srl||September 11||70.0||17.0||7.0||3.0||0.5||0.5|||
|EKMA Srl||September 5||68.0||15.0||9.0||3.0||–||–|||
|Walter Veltroni||2,694,721||75.82||2322||Democratici con Veltroni||1,553,946||43.72||1493|
|Con Veltroni. Ambiente, innovazione, lavoro||286,811||8.07||172|
|A Sinistra con Veltroni||272,111||7.66||226|
|Rosy Bindi||459,398||12.93||312||Con Rosy Bindi. Democratici, davvero||459,398||12.93||312|
|Enrico Letta||391,775||11.02||220||I democratici per Enrico Letta||391,775||11.02||220|
|Mario Adinolfi||5,924||0.17||0||Generazione U||5,924||0.17||0|
|Pier Giorgio Gawronski||2,351||0.07||0||Gawronski. Il coraggio di cambiare and Noi per il Partito Democratico||2,351||0.08||0|
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