Citizens like it, politicians much less. This is the paradox of the Severino law, which governs the impossibility of running for candidates or being elected to Parliament as well as the forfeiture of a parliamentarian in the event of a definitive sentence, on which the Italians will have to express themselves on Sunday. Yes, because this rule of common sense is the first referendum question, proposed by the unprecedented duo Radicali-Lega, to reform justice.
It matters little if the law in question was written and voted on by parliament, moreover at the culmination of a series of investigations into political malpractice, with the approval of the Carroccio and, substantially, with the only adversity of Italia dei Valori di Antonio Di Pietro. Mind you, the former magistrate did not vote against him because he believed the provision was wrong but, on the contrary, because he considered it too light. In short, at the time of the events there was almost a plebiscite.
The Casta against the Severino
But since that day the cards on the table have changed so much that Matteo Salvini & Co have asked, with the Constitutional Court that has given its approval, to repeal the law that takes the name of the former Minister of Justice of the Monti government, Paola Severino. On the red card that Sunday will end up in the hands of the Italians who will go to the polling stations, we read a rather simple question: “Do you want the Legislative Decree 31 December 2012, n. 235? “.
Without prejudice to the fact that the quorum will hardly be hit – perhaps also due to skepticism on the part of the proponents who have done little or nothing to entice Italians to vote – it is still appropriate what the repeal of Severino would entail.
In the first place, it should be considered that the decree in question affects those who have received a sentence of two or more years of imprisonment for mafia and terrorism crimes, as well as those who have been definitively sentenced to two years for crimes committed against the public administration – including corruption, extortion and embezzlement – and for any other crime punishable with a maximum penalty of not less than four years.
For all of them, the rule provides for the impossibility of both being elected and even running as candidates. In short, by repealing it, it is clear that the only concrete effect would be a return to the past, with the consequent “free all”. As if that weren’t enough, however, the effects of a cancellation of the rule would not end there. This is because Severino also regulates forfeiture for the parliamentarian who, during his mandate, sees a sentence against him become definitive.
Delete Severino: the consequences
In short, the only effect of the victory of the Yes would be none other than reopening Parliament and the ministries to definitive convicts. It is difficult to think that a rule of this type can be trashed by citizens who, as we know, are fed up with malpractice in politics. A rejection that also came from experts such as the former magistrate Piercamillo Davigo who explained how repealing this rule would end up being “a unique case in the world” because “no one would think of running a person convicted of mafia or terrorism”.
But to think otherwise is much of the political arc. Against Severino, in fact, there are not only the League and the Radicals but also various local and regional administrators of various parties. For its part, the Democratic Party is opposed to a total cancellation of the provision but has already expressed its intention to modify it in the Chamber. Against the Movement which defines the possible abrogation as “a step backwards”.
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