the center-right points to the Quirinale – Il Tempo

the center-right points to the Quirinale – Il Tempo
the center-right points to the Quirinale – Il Tempo

Gaetano Mineo

04 July 2021

Silvio Berlusconi opens the race to the Quirinale. A remote dream, that of the leader of Forza Italia, and for which, today more than ever, he comes out into the open. “The only challenges I like are the impossible ones,” the former prime minister told Corriere della Sera. Impossible no, we add, but it certainly won’t be easy for the Knight to conquer the Hill. And certainly not because he will turn 85 in September, but because of a more complex political scenario than it appears, despite the fact that the center-right is certainly more compact than the opposite side, including the Five Stars. One fact is certain, Berlusconi believes in it: “I told my father that I would become President of the Republic.” And he is convinced that he has “a 10-15% chance” to be elected president of the Republic. And the count has already begun: to date it would have the support of 476 major voters. As, still today, there could be more if you think that between the Chamber and the Senate, plus the delegates of the Regions, and considering the “others” scattered in Parliament and who look kindly on the center-right, the Knight could reach about 500 votes. On paper. According to the current numbers, 673 votes out of 1008 in the first three ballots and 505 out of 1.008 from the fourth ballot onwards would be required to elect a new Head of State. But no more numbers, the Forza Italia leader is already at work. In these days he will arrive in Rome to start testing the waters.

The roadmap looks perfect. The white semester will start on 3 August, a period in which it will not be possible to dissolve the Chambers until the new President of the Republic is elected. This should happen in the first days of February 2022 given that Sergio Mattarella’s mandate should end on January 31, 2022. A possible bis mandate for the current Head of State is certainly not archived. Only for a year, just enough to bring the country to the 2023 policies. It would be beneficial to everyone. Also because it is almost impossible that before the natural expiry of the legislature, we can go to the polls. In any case, in February the new tenant of the Colle should emerge from one of these three scenarios: a desirable agreement of all political forces on the name; or a president elected by a compact center-left but extended to include Forza Italia and centrists (more or less the “Ursula majority”); or finally a Head of State elected by a compact center-right extended to include Renzians and various willing ones. And it is in the latter case that the Knight’s candidacy could be inserted.

Certainly, the name of Mario Draghi continues to be the most popular in the succession to Mattarella. But as we have written several times, there is no shortage of aspiring “Presidents”. In the center-left the names of Romano Prodi, Paolo Gentiloni, Dario Franceschini, Enrico Letta continue to be mentioned and recently, the name of Walter Veltroni has also come out of the hat. The name of the former President of the Senate remains alive, Marcello Pera, the immortal (politically), Giuliano Amato and Pierferdinando Casini, who although elected with the Democratic Party, never wanted to have anything to do with the Communists. Certainly, the former Speaker of the Chamber has worked side by side with both the center-right and the center-left. Finally, among the technical profiles, the name of the current Keeper of Seals, Marta Cartabia, remains well positioned.

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