A handy guide to tomorrow’s presidential election in Italy

Italian lawmakers will gather from tomorrow in Rome to choose the new head of state, following Giorgio Napolitano’s resignation early this month.

Here’s a handy guide to tomorrow’s election:

Who gets to vote?

The President is elected by Parliament in joint session. This means all members from the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, plus some regional representatives, come together under one roof.

Here’s the composition of tomorrow’s joint session:

– 630 MPs from the Chamber of Deputies
– 315 MPs from the Senate
– 6 life senators (former Presidents Giorgio Napolitano and Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, former PM Mario Monti, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, Nobel Price-winning physicist Carlo Rubbia, academic Elena Cattaneo)
– 57 regional representatives (3 delegates from every Region elected by the Regional Council to ensure that minorities are represented)
– 1 representative for the semi-autonomous region of Aosta Valley

And that gives you a total of 1009.

Where will they vote?

The vote will take place in the Chamber of Deputies, Palazzo Montecitorio, and its Speaker will act as president of the whole assembly.

Who can be elected?

According to the Constitution, any citizen who is at least fifty years of age and enjoys civil and political rights can be elected.

How does the vote work?

The election is by secret ballot with a majority of two thirds of the assembly (672 votes) for the first three rounds. After the third ballot an absolute majority (505 votes) will suffice.

What’s the political situation?

None of the political parties has enough members to pick its own candidate, so it will come down to a compromise between two or more parties.

More on this and other scenarios in an upcoming post. Meanwhile, here are the members of each party sitting down tomorrow, so you can play with numbers while I finish it.

SEL: 26
PD: 415
SC: 32
PlI: 13
M5S: 137
LN: 35
NCD: 70
FI: 130
FdI: 9
GAL: 15
PlA: 16
Mix: 52


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