Politics of Sicily

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Sicily

The Politics of Sicily, Italy takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democracy, whereby the President of Regional Government is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the Regional Government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Sicilian Regional Assembly.

History[edit]

The oldest organised party of Sicily was the Sicilian Socialist Party, founded out from the Fasci Siciliani in 1893, but the region was primarily a stronghold of the liberal establishment (see Historical Right, Historical Left and Liberals) that governed Italy for decades. However, by the end of the 19th century, Sicily elected several deputies from left-wing parties, namely the Radical Party, the Italian Republican Party, the Italian Socialist Party and the Italian Reformist Socialist Party.[1]

After Italian Fascism (whose partisan arm, the National Fascist Party was well supported in the region) and the Allied invasion of Sicily during the World War II, Sicily increasingly became a stronghold of Christian Democracy, in opposition to the Italian Communist Party. Sicilians had also a penchant for conservative/nationalist politics, represented mainly by the Monarchist National Party and the Italian Social Movement.

After the dissolution of these parties, in the early 1990s, the region was long governed by a "center-right coalition", notably including the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats, whose regional leader, Salvatore Cuffaro, served as President of Sicily from 2001 to 2008, Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia and the post-fascist National Alliance. Cuffaro's Christian Democrats have since been the main party of government in Sicily as they had been part both of the administrations of Raffaele Lombardo of the Movement for the Autonomies (2008–2012) and that of Rosario Crocetta of the Democratic Party (since 2012).

Legislative branch[edit]

The Sicilian Regional Assembly is composed of 90 members (or deputies). 80 deputies are elected in provincial constituencies by proportional representation using the largest remainder method with a Droop quota and open lists, while 10 councillors (elected in a general ticket) come from a "regional list", including the President-elect. One seat is reserved for the candidate who comes second.

The Assembly is elected for a five-year term, but, if the President suffers a vote of no confidence, resigns or dies, under the simul stabunt, simul cadent clause introduced in 2001 (literally they will stand together or they will fall together), also the Assembly is dissolved and a snap election is called.

Executive branch[edit]

The Regional Cabinet (Giunta Regionale) is presided by the President of the Region (Presidente della Regione), who is elected for a five-year term, and is currently composed by 11 members: the President and 10 regional assessors (Assessori, literally "aldermen"), including a Vice President (Vice Presidente).

Originally appointed by the Sicilian Regional Assembly, since 2001 de jure, he is elected by popular vote every five years under universal suffrage: the candidate who receives a plurality of votes, is elected.

His office is connected to the Regional Assembly (ARS), which is elected contextually: one fifth of the assembly seats are generally reserved to his supporters, which are wholesale elected concurrently with the President, the Assembly and the President are linked by an alleged relationship of confidence: if the President resigns or he is dismissed by the Assembly, a snap election is called for both the legislative and the executive offices, because in no case the two bodies can be chosen separately. The popular election of the President and the relationship of confidence between him and the legislature, allow to identify the Sicilian model of government as a particular form of semi-presidential system.

The President of Sicily promulgates regional laws and regulations, he can receive special administrative functions by the national government. The President is one of the 90 members of the Regional Assembly and, in this capacity, he can propose new laws, he appoints and dismiss the Regional Cabinet (called Giunta Regionale in Italian). The Cabinet is composed by regional assessors (assessori, literally "aldermen"[2]) who can be members of the Council at the same time. Assessors should not be confused with the ministers: according to Italian administrative law, assessors only receive delegations from the President to rule a bureau or an agency, the Region being a single legal person, not divided in ministries. One assessor can be appointed Vice President, the President can also appoint four under-secretaries (sottosegretari) to help the President in his functions.

The Regional Cabinet prepares the budget, appoints the boards of public regional agencies and companies, manages assets, develops projects of governance, and resorts to the Constitutional Court of Italy if it thinks that a national law may violate regional powers, the President and the Cabinet are two different authorities of the Region: in matters within its competence, the Cabinet has the power to vote to give its approval.

List of Presidents[edit]

The current President of Sicily is Nello Musumeci, who is serving for his first term after winning the 2017 regional election.

Name Term of office Political Party Legislature
1 Giuseppe Alessi 30 May 1947 13 June 1949 DC I (1947)
2 Franco Restivo 13 June 1949 20 July 1951 DC
20 July 1951 4 June 1955 II (1951)
(1) Giuseppe Alessi 4 June 1955 4 April 1956 DC III (1955)
3 Giuseppe La Loggia 4 April 1956 13 May 1958 DC
4 Silvio Milazzo 13 May 1958 12 August 1959 DC
12 August 1959 23 February 1960 IV (1959)
5 Benedetto Majorana della Nicchiara 23 February 1960 8 September 1961 DC
6 Giuseppe D'Angelo 8 September 1961 25 July 1963 DC
25 July 1963 4 August 1964 V (1963)
7 Francesco Coniglio 4 August 1964 11 August 1967 DC
8 Vincenzo Carollo 11 August 1967 20 September 1969 DC VI (1967)
9 Mario Fasino 20 September 1969 10 August 1971 DC
10 August 1971 22 December 1972 VII (1971)
10 Vincenzo Giummara 22 December 1972 26 March 1974 DC
11 Angelo Bonfiglio 26 March 1974 13 August 1976 DC
13 August 1976 20 March 1978 VIII (1976)
12 Piersanti Mattarella 20 March 1978 6 January 1980 DC
13 Mario D'Acquisto 6 January 1980 7 August 1981 DC
7 August 1981 23 December 1982 IX (1981)
14 Calogero Lo Giudice 23 December 1982 19 October 1983 DC
15 Santi Nicita 19 October 1983 21 March 1984 DC
16 Modesto Sardo 21 March 1984 1 February 1985 DC
17 Rino Nicolosi 1 February 1985 12 August 1986 DC
12 August 1986 12 August 1991 X (1986)
18 Vincenzo Leanza 12 August 1991 16 July 1992 DC XI (1991)
19 Giuseppe Campione 16 July 1992 21 December 1993 DC
20 Francesco Martino 21 December 1993 16 May 1995 PLI
21 Matteo Graziano 16 May 1995 16 June 1996 PPI
22 Giuseppe Provenzano 16 June 1996 20 January 1998 FI XII (1996)
23 Giuseppe Drago 20 January 1998 21 November 1998 CCD
24 Angelo Capodicasa 21 November 1998 26 July 2000 DS
(18) Vincenzo Leanza 26 July 2000 17 July 2001 FI
25 Salvatore Cuffaro 17 July 2001 28 May 2006 UDC XIII (2001)
28 May 2006 18 January 2008 XIV (2006)
26 Raffaele Lombardo 28 April 2008 10 November 2012 MpA XV (2008)
27 Rosario Crocetta 10 November 2012 18 November 2017 PD XVI (2012)
28 Nello Musumeci 18 November 2017 incumbent DB[3] XVII (2017)

Local government[edit]

Provinces[edit]

Sicily was divided in nine provinces, which were a traditional form of local administration in the region. Socialist and Christian-democratic ideas had an early diffusion in quite all the provinces around World War I. After the Fascist parenthesis, left-wing parties found their strongholds in central agricultural provinces, especially in the Province of Enna, but they didn't succeeded in local elections, while Christian Democracy obtained high scores in others parts of the Region.

On 19 March 2013 the Sicilian Regional Assembly decided to turn them into Free Associations of Municipalities (Liberi consorzi tra comuni). Finally, on 30 July 2015 the Regional Assembly approved a law which put into force the Free Associations of Municipalities, regulating their functions and abolishing definitively the nine historical provinces, the same law created the new Metropolitan Cities of Palermo, Messina and Catania.[4]

Province Inhabitants established current status[5]
Palermo 1,250,296 1860 Metropolitan City
Catania 1,167,006 1860 Metropolitan City
Messina 651,921 1860 Metropolitan City
Agrigento 453,416 1860 Free Association of Municipalities
Trapani 436,459 1860 Free Association of Municipalities
Syracuse 404,271 1860 Free Association of Municipalities
Ragusa 320,003 1927 Free Association of Municipalities
Caltanissetta 270,102 1927 Free Association of Municipalities
Enna 171,921 1927 Free Association of Municipalities

Municipalities[edit]

Sicily is also divided in 390 comuni (municipalities), which have even more history, having been established in the Middle Ages when they were the main places of government. 15 comuni have more than 50,000 inhabitants.

Municipality Inhabitants Mayor Party Election
Palermo 654,121 Leoluca Orlando Independent 2012
Catania 291,274 Enzo Bianco PD 2013
Messina 241,310 Renato Accorinti Independent 2013
Syracuse 123,376 Giancarlo Garrozzo PD 2013
Marsala 82,933 Alberto Di Girolamo PD 2015
Gela 77,335 Domenico Messinese M5S 2015
Ragusa 73,030 Federico Piccitto M5S 2013
Trapani 69,182 Vito Damiano FI 2012
Caltanissetta 63,290 Giovanni Ruvolo PD 2014
Vittoria 63,002 Giuseppe Nicosia PD 2011
Agrigento 59,645 Calogero Firreto UdC 2015

Parties and elections[edit]

Latest regional election[edit]

The latest regional election, for the renewal of the Regional Assembly and the election of the President of Sicily, was held on 5 November 2017. Nello Musumeci (Diventerà Bellissima), won the election.

Sicilian regional election, 2017

← 2012 5 November 2017

All 70 seats to the Sicilian Regional Assembly
36 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 46.76%[6]
  First party Second party Third party
  Musumeci - primo piano crop.jpg Giancarlo Cancelleri.jpg Fabrizio Micari crop.jpg
Leader Nello Musumeci Giancarlo Cancelleri Fabrizio Micari
Party Diventerà Bellissima Five Star Movement Democratic Party
Seats won 36 20 13
Popular vote 830,821 722,555 388,886
Percentage 39.85% 34.65% 18.65%
Swing Increase 14.12% Increase 16.48% Decrease 11.82%

Sicilian regional election 2017 map.png

President of Sicily before election

Rosario Crocetta
Democratic Party

Elected President of Sicily

Nello Musumeci
Diventerà Bellissima

The Sicilian regional election of 2017 for the renewal of the Sicilian Regional Assembly and the election of the President of Sicily was held on 5 November 2017. Incumbent President Rosario Crocetta was not his party's candidate due to his low popularity.[7] Nello Musumeci, leader of the moviment Diventerà Bellissima, was elected president.

Electoral system[edit]

The Sicilian Parliament is elected with a mixed system: 62 MPs are chosen with a form of proportional representation using a largest remainder method with open lists and a 5% threshold, while 8 MPs (7+1) are elected with a block voting system with closed lists.

 AG   CL   CT   EN   ME   PA   RG   SR   TP  Total
6 3 13 2 8 16 4 5 5 62

Parties and leaders[edit]

Political force or alliance Constituent lists Leader
Centre-right coalition
Forza Italia
Nello Musumeci
Populars and Autonomists
Union of the Centre
Diventerà Bellissima
Musumeci ListBrothers of ItalyUs with Salvini
Five Star Movement
Five Star Movement
Giancarlo Cancelleri
Centre-left coalition
Democratic Party
Fabrizio Micari
Future SicilyItalian Socialist Party
Popular AlternativeCentrists for Sicily
Left-wing coalition
Democratic and Progressive Movement
Claudio Fava[8]
Italian Left (incl. P, PRC, AC)
Free Sicilians
Free Sicilians
Roberto La Rosa[9]

Opinion polling[edit]

Date Polling firm Micari Musumeci Cancelleri Fava Others Lead
20 Oct 2017 Piepoli 25.0 42.0 25.0 8.0 0.0 17.0
20 Oct 2017 Demos&Pi 15.7 35.5 33.2 13.8 1.8 2.3
20 Oct 2017 Demopolis 21.0 36.0 35.0 7.0 1.0 1.0
19 Oct 2017 Tecnè 16.0 42.0 33.0 9.0 0.0 9.0
18 Oct 2017 Keix 24.2 33.0 33.2 7.6 1.6 0.2
12 Ott 2017 Demopolis 22.0 35.0 33.0 9.0 1.0 2.0
11 Oct 2017 Piepoli 16.0 42.0 33.0 9.0 1.0 9.0
5 Oct 2017 Index research 20.0 37.0 30.0 10.0 3.0 7.0
4 Oct 2017 Demopolis 22.5 34.5 32.0 9.0 2.0 2.5
3 Oct 2017 Tecnè 15.0 37.0 31.0 11.0 6.0 6.0
24 Sep 2017 Ipsos 13.0 38.0 31.0 10.0 8.0 7.0
21 Sep 2017 Index Research 15.0 36.0 30.0 16.0 3.0 6.0
5 Sep 2017 Demopolis 22.0 34.0 35.0 6.0 3.0 1.0
29–30 Aug 2017 Euromedia[permanent dead link] 16.0 36.1 33.0 9.5 7.5 3.1
26–28 Aug 2017 Lorien 21.3 40.5 38.2 N/A 0.0 2.3

Results[edit]

5 November 2017 Sicilian regional election results
Assemblea Regionale Siciliana 2017.svg
Candidates Votes % Seats Parties Votes % Seats
Nello Musumeci 830,821 39.85 7
Forza Italia 315,056 16.37 12
Populars and Autonomists 136,520 7.09 5
Union of the Centre 134,124 6.97 5
Diventerà Bellissima 114,708 5.96 4
Brothers of ItalyUs with Salvini 108,713 5.65 3
Total 809,121 42.04 29
Giancarlo Cancelleri 722,555 34.65 1 Five Star Movement 513,359 26.67 19
Fabrizio Micari 388,886 18.65
Democratic Party 250,633 13.02 11
Future SicilyItalian Socialist Party 115,751 6.01 2
Popular AlternativeCentrists for Micari 80,366 4.18
Micari for President 42,189 2.19
Total 488,939 25.41 13
Claudio Fava 128,157 6.15 One Hundred Steps for Sicily 100,583 5.23 1
Roberto La Rosa 14,656 0.70 Free Sicilians 12,600 0.66
Total candidates 2,085,075 100.00 8 Total parties 1,924,602 100.00 62
Source: Sicilian Region
Popular vote
M5S
26.67%
FI
16.37%
PD
13.02%
CPMpA
7.09%
UdC
6.97%
SFPSI
6.01%
DB
5.96%
FdINcS
5.65%
CPpS
5.23%
APCpM
4.18%
MP
2.19%
SL
0.66%
President
Musumeci
39.85%
Cancelleri
34.65%
Micari
18.65%
Fava
6.15%
La Rosa
0.70%

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Piergiorgio Corbetta; Maria Serena Piretti, Atlante storico-elettorale d'Italia, Zanichelli, Bologna 2009
  2. ^ According to Google Translate
  3. ^ Former member of the MSI, AN and The Right; substained by the centre-right coalition.
  4. ^ "La Sicilia approva la riforma delle province". www.ansa.it (in Italian). ansa. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  5. ^ After 2015 reform.
  6. ^ "Riepilogo Risultati Elezioni Sicilia - Regionali - 5 novembre 2017 - Repubblica.it". Repubblica.it. Retrieved 2017-11-07. 
  7. ^ Regionali, Crocetta: "Sono io il candidato legittimo del Pd"
  8. ^ Fava candidato unico della sinistra: in Sicilia Navarra si defila.
  9. ^ Siciliani liberi, parte la campagna elettorale a sostegno di La Rosa.

References[edit]

External links[edit]