Italy Election 2022: On the centre-left, there is still turmoil over an alliance. Meanwhile, the right/centre-right coalition have drafted an initial manifesto.
Turmoil over alliances in view of the Italy election 2022 continued on centre-left side of Italy’s political spectrum on Thursday.
Tension is high after Nicola Fratoianni of the Italian Left (SI) and Angelo Bonelli of the Green Europe (EV) groups decided not to meet with centre-left Democratic Party (PD) leader Enrico Letta on Wednesday.
SI and EV had asked for a meeting to assess whether an alliance was still viable after Letta sealed a pact on Tuesday with the centrist Azione party. Leader of Azione, former industry minister Carlo Calenda, has said a future centre-left government should continue with the policies adopted by outgoing Premier Mario Draghi’s executive.
Calenda also called for neither Fratoianni nor Bonelli to be candidates for the coalition in seats decided on a uninominal (first-past-the-post) basis.
Unease on the left
Fratoianni and Bonelli expressed “unease” following the PD-Azione pact and said they needed time for “more reflection” before meeting Letta. “If we have Draghi’s agenda, I’m not up for it,” said Fratoianni.
The PD-Azione pact looked to have boosted what are widely considered to be the centre left’s outside chances of defeating the right/centre-right coalition in the election. However, with the PD wanting to put together a very broad alliance, the step forward made with the Azione deal may have come at the cost of losing SI and EV as allies.
The PD is a close second to Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party in the polls at around 22-23%. But support levels of the right/centre-right as a whole, which also features Matteo Salvini’s League and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI), appear to put it in a strong position for victory.
PD not running with 5-Star Movement
The PD ruled out running with the 5-Star Movement (M5S) after it triggered the crisis of government that led to the collapse of Draghi’s ruling coalition.
Azione and +Europa currently have the support of around 5-7% of the electorate, according to polls. Meanwhile, running as partners, EV-SI have the support of around 4% of the electorate, according to a recent poll.
With SI-EV possibly turning back on the alliance with the PD, there has been speculation that they could seek to strike a deal with the M5S. The movement were expected to run alone. However, M5S leader Giuseppe Conte on Thursday warned that “Bonelli mustn’t use us to be able to negotiate with the PD”.
Initial draft of right/centre-right manifesto
An initial draft of the right/centre-right coalition’s manifesto for the Italy election 2022 stresses Italy would maintain its position at the centre of the European Union and NATO with a government led by it, Ansa reports.
The 15-point manifesto is entitled “Italy, tomorrow. Framework Programme for a Centre-right Government”. The first point, written in bold, states that Italy is “full member of the Europe, of the Atlantic Alliance and of the West.”
“More Italy in Europe, more Europe in the world,” it continues.
The second point of the draft refers to the efficient use of EU funds. The third, meanwhile, regards structural and institutional reforms. These include changes that would see the Italian president elected directly by the people, instead of by lawmakers and regional representatives.
The fourth pledges to deliver a “fair” tax system, with a flat-tax regime for the self-employed being extended to all those earning up to €100,000 a year.
The manifesto also refers to the need to help families and encourage people to have children, measures to boost security and stop illegal immigration, and efforts to support the needy.
As scientists call on politicians to prioritise the environment, the manifesto says becoming self-reliant for energy and protecting the environment were priorities. The section on agriculture stresses that the sector is both “our history and our future”. Other points include school, university and research, and young people and sport.
Polls suggest centre-right win
Polls suggest the centre right is set to win the election. Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, which is currently top of the opinion surveys, would be the driving force.
If the centre right does win and FdI is the party to get most votes, Meloni is likely to become Italy’s first woman premier. Last week Meloni said that Italy will be a reliable international partner if a right/centre-right coalition wins.
“We reiterate that we will guarantee, with no ambiguity, the Italian position (on the international arena) and the absolute support of the heroic battle of the Ukraine people (against the Russian invasion),” Meloni told her party’s national directorate. “We can say that an Italy led by Brothers of Italy and the centre right will be an Italy that is reliable at the international level“.