What is the white semester that is about to begin for President Mattarella

What is the white semester that is about to begin for President Mattarella

These are the last six months of the President of the Republic's mandate, during which the latter cannot dissolve Parliament and call early elections

(photo: YouTube / Presidency of the Republic) The last six months as President of the Republic of Sergio Mattarella, the so-called white semester. During this period, at the end of his seven-year mandate, the Head of State cannot use one of his greatest powers, that is, to dismiss Parliament and call new political elections. For political forces it can represent a moment of intense confrontation and debate, because without the threat of being sent home they could take advantage of the situation to create new majorities or appoint a different Prime Minister, more compliant with their needs.

What is the white semester?

According to article 88 of the Constitution, “the President of the Republic, after hearing their Presidents, dissolve the Chambers or even just one of them. He cannot exercise this faculty in the last six months of his mandate, unless they coincide in whole or in part with the last six months of the legislature ". This limit was imposed to prevent an authoritarian president from abusing his power to get rid of a parliament that is not in favor of his re-election, or that of his favorite candidate, by imposing early elections when his term is close.

What effects can it have on political forces?

In the case of a government governed by unstable majorities and headed by a prime minister who is disliked by some parties, the white semester can be an opportunity for change the political balance and acquire greater weight and strength in Parliament, even reaching the replacement of the premier, without the risk of having to go to new elections.

What powers remain with the president?

The president of the Republic is still able to supervise the parliamentary work and, in the event of a political crisis, he could even resign early causing early presidential elections. Furthermore, he can always intervene to stop a law or send it back to the Houses, refusing to sign it, and make official reminders to Parliament in case of excesses or behaviors contrary to the welfare of the state.

What effects can it have in the current political situation?

According to Stefano Ceccanti, constitutionalist and deputy of the Democratic Party interviewed by Radio Radicale, with Mario Draghi as Prime Minister this blank semester should not cause any problems for the stability of the government. In fact, according to Ceccanti, both the growing popularity of Draghi and his role as guarantor with the European Union - for the implementation of the reforms necessary to receive the funds for the recovery - make his government stable and convenient for all parties. Furthermore, on the EU level, it is the premier who participates in the meetings of the European Council, so even a replacement of Mattarella by Draghi would be very problematic, because Italy cannot afford not to have Draghi here.

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