Ital­ian sen­a­tor files 83 mil­lion amend­ments to block re­form

Oman Daily Observer - - EUROPE -

ROME: An op­po­si­tion law­maker filed nearly 83 mil­lion amend­ments in a bid to block a re­form of the con­sti­tu­tion that would re­duce Se­nate pow­ers, Ital­ian media re­ported on Thurs­day.

Sen­a­tor Roberto Calderoli of the North­ern League party an­nounced his un­prece­dented ob­struc­tion­ist ef­forts the pre­vi­ous day. “I handed in 82,730,460 amend­ments to­day,” he told a news con­fer­ence, say­ing he sub­mit­ted them to save Italy’s democ­racy in the face of a con­tro­ver­sial con­sti­tu­tional re­form.

“I am al­most cer­tain of hav­ing beaten all records, Ital­ian and global, in terms of filed amend­ments,” Calderoli added.

The re­form in ques­tion aims to turn Italy’s Se­nate — cur­rently equal in power to the lower cham­ber of par­lia­ment — into a non-elected body with re­duced say over leg­is­la­tion.

Un­der the re­form, the Se­nate would also have no power to top­ple na­tional gov­ern­ments.

Back­ers of the re­form, pro­posed by Prime Min­is­ter Mat­teo Renzi, say it will give Italy a more sta­ble and ef­fi­cient gov­ern­ment, cou­pled with other re­forms that in­clude a new elec­toral law that is al­ready on statute books.

Crit­ics say that it will give too much power to the ex­ec­u­tive, weak­en­ing demo­cratic checks and bal­ances.

Calderoli is known to have re­lied on a spe­cial com­puter al­go­rithm to achieve the feat, telling re­porters it was ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing “an in­fi­nite num­ber of amend­ments.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Cor­riere della Sera news­pa­per, the sen­a­tor’s re­sis­tance will be fu­tile, as the rul­ing cen­tre-left Demo­cratic Party is de­ter­mined to push through the re­form and se­cure Se­nate ap­proval by Oc­to­ber 10.

The news­pa­per said the gov­ern­ing coali­tion could re­sort to a pro­ce­dural clause set­ting time lim­its to par­lia­men­tary dis­cus­sions, known as the “guil­lo­tine,” which has never pre­vi­ously been in­voked for con­sti­tu­tional re­form bills.

— dpa

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman

© PressReader. All rights reserved.