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Electoral Laws - Italy


Elections to the European Parliament : 13 june 1999
Electoral Procedure


No. of inhabitants 57 637 700 29 646 500 27 991 200
of which, resident EU citizens 142 300 83 100 59 200
No. of potential voters (18+) 47 425 100 24 667 000 22 758 100
No. of young people (18-23) * 4 400 100 2 151 400 2 248 700
No. of seats 87    
No. of inhabitants per seat 662 502    

Source: Eurostat estimates based on Eurostat population scenarios (baseline variant) and the latest data.

* Age group voting for the first time in EP elections (last EP elections: June 1994).


1. Legal basis

Law No. 18 of 24 January 1979 as amended by Law No. 61 of 9 April 1984, Law No. 9 of 18 January 1989 and Decree-Law No. 128 of 21 February 1994.


2. Electoral system

(Discussion under way in parliament on incompatibilities, introduction of a threshold, possible changes to number of constituencies, etc.)

-    Proportional representation on a national basis. Italy is divided into five constituencies:
    *    North-West, 23 seats (Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria, Valle d'Aosta);
    *    North-East, 16 seats (Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Emilia-Romagna);
    *    Centre, 17 seats (Marche, Umbria, Lazio, Tuscany);
    *    South, 21 seats (Abruzzi, Molise, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania);
    *    Islands, 10 seats (Sicily, Sardinia).

.     Vote count and allocation of seats: Seats are allocated on the basis of the total votes cast for each national list divided by the national electoral quota (i.e. the total number of votes cast for all lists divided by the number of seats). The seats allocated to each list are then distributed on a constituency basis and allotted to the candidates winning the highest number of votes. Seats not allocated under this method are allocated to the national lists with the best ratio. Preference voting: voters may vote for at most three candidates in an initial constituency, two candidates in each of three further constituencies and one candidate in a final constituency.

13. Registration of candidates

-    Deadline for registration: No later than 39 days before polling day.

-    Deposit: None.

-    Conditions:

 The Decree-Law of 19 March 1994 stipulates that parties belonging to political groupings which, when the elections are called, form a parliamentary group in either of the two chambers do not need to collect signatures. The same rules apply to parties holding at least one seat in one of the two chambers. Parties belonging to political groups with at least one seat in the EP are also exempted from this requirement.
 Other lists may be submitted provided they are accompanied by between 30 000 and 35 000 signatures in each constituency, with a minimum of 10% in each region of the constituency concerned.

-    Incompatibilities: Those laid down in the 1976 Act on Elections to the European Parliament. In addition, a Member of the European Parliament may not simultaneously hold the office of president or member of a regional government. (Discussion in progress in parliament on incompatibilities.)

4. Polling day : Sunday 13 June 1999 (8 am - 10 pm)

-     The count begins at 10pm on Sunday and ends at 8am on Monday.Preliminary results: 10am on Monday.

5. Voting / standing for election

-    Right to vote

 All EU citizens aged 18 or over who are in full possession of their voting rights in their Member State of origin may vote.

 Italian citizens resident in another EU Member State may vote at an Italian consulate on 12 June 1999.

 Italian citizens resident outside the EU must return to Italy to vote.

-    Right to stand for election

 Any EU citizen aged 25 or over who is in full possession of his right to stand as a candidate in his Member State of origin may stand for election.

6. Election campaign

-    Funding: Campaign expenditure is reimbursed, subject to certain limits.

-    Official campaign starting date: 30 days before polling day.

-    Opinion polls: no restrictions.


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