Politics of Sicily
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politics and government of
The Politics of Sicily, Italy takes place in a framework of a semi-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.
The oldest organised party of Sicily was the Sicilian Socialist Party, founded out from the Fasci Siciliani in 1893, but the region was primarily a stronghold of the liberal establishment (see Historical Right, Historical Left and Liberals) that governed Italy for decades. However, by the end of the 19th century, Sicily elected several deputies from left-wing parties, namely the Radical Party, the Italian Republican Party, the Italian Socialist Party and the Italian Reformist Socialist Party.
After Italian Fascism (whose partisan arm, the National Fascist Party was well supported in the region) and the Allied invasion of Sicily during the World War II, Sicily increasingly became a stronghold of Christian Democracy, in opposition to the Italian Communist Party. Sicilians had also a penchant for conservative/nationalist politics, represented mainly by the Monarchist National Party and the Italian Social Movement.
After the dissolution of these parties, in the early 1990s, the region was long governed by a "center-right coalition", notably including the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats, whose regional leader, Salvatore Cuffaro, served as President of Sicily from 2001 to 2008, Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia and the post-fascist National Alliance. Cuffaro's Christian Democrats have since been the main party of government in Sicily as they had been part both of the administrations of Raffaele Lombardo of the Movement for the Autonomies (2008–2012) and that of Rosario Crocetta of the Democratic Party (since 2012).
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 clause introduced in 2001 (literally they will stand together or they will fall together), also the Assembly is dissolved and a snap election is called.
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") 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, manages 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
|№||Name||Term of office||Political Party||Legislature|
|1||Giuseppe Alessi||30 May 1947||13 June 1949||DC||I (1947)|
|2||Franco Restivo||13 June 1949||20 July 1951||DC|
|20 July 1951||4 June 1955||II (1951)|
|(1)||Giuseppe Alessi||4 June 1955||4 April 1956||DC||III (1955)|
|3||Giuseppe La Loggia||4 April 1956||13 May 1958||DC|
|4||Silvio Milazzo||13 May 1958||12 August 1959||DC|
|12 August 1959||23 February 1960||IV (1959)|
|5||Benedetto Majorana della Nicchiara||23 February 1960||8 September 1961||DC|
|6||Giuseppe D'Angelo||8 September 1961||25 July 1963||DC|
|25 July 1963||4 August 1964||V (1963)|
|7||Francesco Coniglio||4 August 1964||11 August 1967||DC|
|8||Vincenzo Carollo||11 August 1967||20 September 1969||DC||VI (1967)|
|9||Mario Fasino||20 September 1969||10 August 1971||DC|
|10 August 1971||22 December 1972||VII(1971)|
|10||Vincenzo Giummara||22 December 1972||26 March 1974||DC|
|11||Angelo Bonfiglio||26 March 1974||13 August 1976||DC|
|13 August 1976||20 March 1978||VIII(1976)|
|12||Piersanti Mattarella||20 March 1978||6 January 1980||DC|
|13||Mario D'Acquisto||6 January 1980||7 August 1981||DC|
|7 August 1981||23 December 1982||IX(1981)|
|14||Calogero Lo Giudice||23 December 1982||19 October 1983||DC|
|15||Santi Nicita||19 October 1983||21 March 1984||DC|
|16||Modesto Sardo||21 March 1984||1 February 1985||DC|
|17||Rino Nicolosi||1 February 1985||12 August 1986||DC|
|12 August 1986||12 August 1991||X(1986)|
|18||Vincenzo Leanza||12 August 1991||16 July 1992||DC||XI(1991)|
|19||Giuseppe Campione||16 July 1992||21 December 1993||DC|
|20||Francesco Martino||21 December 1993||16 May 1995||PLI|
|21||Matteo Graziano||16 May 1995||16 June 1996||PPI|
|22||Giuseppe Provenzano||16 June 1996||20 January 1998||FI||XII(1996)|
|23||Giuseppe Drago||20 January 1998||21 November 1998||CDU|
|24||Angelo Capodicasa||21 November 1998||26 July 2000||DS|
|(18)||Vincenzo Leanza||26 July 2000||17 July 2001||FI|
|25||Salvatore Cuffaro||17 July 2001||28 May 2006||UDC||XIII(2001)|
|28 May 2006||18 January 2008||XIV(2006)|
|26||Raffaele Lombardo||28 April 2008||10 November 2012||MpA||XV(2008)|
|27||Rosario Crocetta||10 November 2012||incumbent||PD||XVI(2012)|
||This section needs to be updated. (September 2015)|
Sicily was divided in nine provinces, which were 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 the Sicilian Regional Assembly decided to turn them into Free Associations of Municipalities (Liberi consorzi tra comuni). Finally, on 30 July 2015 the Regional Assembly approved a law which put into force the Free Associations of Municipalities, regulating their functions and abolishing definitively the nine historical provinces. The same law created the new Metropolitan Cities of Palermo, Messina and Catania.
|Agrigento||453,416||1860||Free Association of Municipalities|
|Trapani||436,459||1860||Free Association of Municipalities|
|Syracuse||404,271||1860||Free Association of Municipalities|
|Ragusa||320,003||1927||Free Association of Municipalities|
|Caltanissetta||270,102||1927||Free Association of Municipalities|
|Enna||171,921||1927||Free Association of Municipalities|
||This section needs to be updated. (September 2015)|
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.
|Marsala||82,933||Alberto Di Girolamo||PD||2015|
Parties and elections
Latest regional election
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|
|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)||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|
|Musumeci List (incl. The Right)||107,397||5.60||4|
|Alliance of the Centre (incl. PSDI and MRN)||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 Sicilians||182,737||9.53||10||15|
|Future and Freedom||83,891||4.37||0|
|Thought Action Party||959||0.05||0|
|Giovanna Marano||122,633||6.10||–||Italy of Values||67,738||3.53||0||–|
|Left Ecology Freedom–FdS–Greens||58,753||3.06||0|
|Mariano Ferro||31,390||1.55||–||The People of Pitchforks (incl. FN)||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: Sicilian Region
- Piergiorgio Corbetta; Maria Serena Piretti, Atlante storico-elettorale d'Italia, Zanichelli, Bologna 2009
- According to Google Translate
- Resigned after being arrested.
- "La Sicilia approva la riforma delle province". www.ansa.it (in Italian). ansa. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- After 2015 reform.