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Parliaments and Government FormationUnpacking Investiture Rules$
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Bjørn Erik Rasch, Shane Martin, and José Antonio Cheibub

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747017

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747017.001.0001

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Government Formation in Italy

Government Formation in Italy

The Challenge of Bicameral Investiture

(p.136) 8 Government Formation in Italy
Parliaments and Government Formation

Federico Russo

Oxford University Press

The Italian government is appointed and sworn in by the President of the Republic, but must then win an explicit ex post investiture vote in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. In both chambers the voting rule is simple majority. Despite these provisions, minority governments have been a common feature of Italian politics. This chapter describes how the rules have been applied in practice and how they have made possible the formation of several minority governments. The main argument is that until the early 1990s, minority governments were appointed when the governing coalition entered a period of crisis and before a new, more stable, coalition emerged; in those cases, minority governments were the only possible formula to give a cabinet to the country, because the main opposition party, the Italian Communist Party, was not legitimized to govern.

Keywords:   Italian Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, ex post investiture, minority governments, Italian Communist Party

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