From Tokyo, where he is visiting his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Romano Prodi has again stated he will not accept any electoral reform not supported by a broad consensus: “I insist”, he said, “I will not do an electoral law without a vast majority. Otherwise, we will fall back into chronic instability the day after”. The Premier has further commented this rather optimistic plan reminding that “dialogue does demolish some barriers”, and assuring that the consultations held by the Government on the subject are indeed making progress. A progress, though, expected to be slow, since the left itself is well aware of the fact that, once an agreement on the reform is reached, new elections toward a more stable majority will be inevitable.
Prodi has also touched the other political issue keeping busy the left side of Italy’s political spectrum: the birth of a new “Democratic Party” - formed by the “reformist” movements of the coalition, namely Democratici di Sinistra e La Margherita – in an effort to bring some unity to the extremely fragmented political front of the left. The Premier has stressed that the speculations that recently filled the Italian press, about the potential candidates for the new Party’s leadership – among which Rome’s Mayor Walter Veltroni - are completely baseless, suggesting he doesn’t have any intention of abandoning the wheel of his Coalition anytime soon.
In this context, the convention of Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema’s Party, Democratici di Sinistra and that of La Margherita – to be held, respectively, in Florence on april19th and in Rome the day after – could be the last ones for both movements.
On the other side of the Parliament’s chamber, a couple of weeks after the split represented by UDC’s decision to vote the refinancing of the military mission along with the majority despite the right’s decision to abstain, its leader Pier Ferdinando Casini’s UDC seems to have run back home. At the party’s convention, Casini has stressed that the role of his Party is “naturally alternative to that of the left”, choking off any conjecture of a definitive detachment from his Coalition and, by so doing, renewing his legitimate ambition to succeed Berlusconi as its leader.