Rome

Napolitano losing patience with parties on electoral reform

'Bothered to see no movement' says president

Napolitano losing patience with parties on electoral reform

(ANSA) - Rome, August 10 - President Giorgio Napolitano on Friday chided Italy's political parties once again for not moving to reform the country's contentious electoral law. "I am bothered still not to see any movement towards discussing a new electoral law," Napolitano told the L'Unita' daily three days after parliament began its summer recess. The prospect of Italy's much-criticised electoral system being changed increased early this year after the country's two biggest parties, former premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), found common ground on the issue. But Napolitano has recently lost patience with the parties for "dragging on for weeks" and not capitalizing on common ground struck earlier this year by submitting election-reform proposals to parliament. The current law has been widely criticised for distancing politicians from voters, who effectively cannot pick their representatives, as party leaders have the power to name candidates on so-called 'blocked lists', which are then voted on. As a result, candidates do not need to champion the concerns of constituents so much but they do need to lobby within their parties to get high enough on the lists to be elected. Premier Mario Monti said last week that going to elections in 2013 before agreeing on electoral reforms "amid a climate of partisan bickering" would be "the worst-case scenario".

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