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Parliament (generic name):           Il Parlamento

Translated name:                        Parliament

Structure:                                   Bicameral

Chamber:                                   Senato della Repubblica

Translated name:                        Senate

Members (statutory number):      321members
- 315 directly elected
- 4 appointed by the President of the Republic
- 2 ex-officio (former Presidents of the Republic)

Members (current number):       321

Term:                                        5  years

Last renewal dates:                    9 April 2006

                                                10 April 2006





Electoral Law:

 6 February 1948

 Last amendment: 21.12.2005



  - 20 multi-member constituencies (302 seats);
- 1 single-member constituency in Valle d'Aosta (1 seat);
- 6 single-member constituencies in Trentino-Alto Adige (6 seats) equally distributed between Italian-speaking Trento (Trent) province and German-speaking Bolzano (Südtirol) province
- 1 constituency for Italians Abroad representing 4 geographical groups (6 seats): a) Europe (including the entire Russian Federation and all of Turkey); b) South America; c) Northern and Central America; and d) Africa, Asia, Oceania and Antarctica.


Voting System:

  Proportional representation system*
- proportional representation system using d'Hondt method on the basis of regional voting results for 302 seats ,
- proportional representation system for the constituency for Italians Abroad representing 4 geographical groups (6 seats);




*First-past-the-post system for single-seat-constituencies in Valle d'Aosta and Trentino-Alto Adige (12 seats).



There are minimum thresholds to win a seat in the Senate on the basis of regional voting results:
- for a political coalition: 20 % of the total number of valid votes in every region/constituency;
- for a political list within a coalition: 3% of the total number of valid votes in every region/constituency; and
- for a political party (list) which is not aligned with any political coalition: 8% of the total number of valid votes in every region/constituency.

In cases where a political coalition or a political party with the largest number of votes fails to win 55 per cent of the seats to be filled in the region, the winning coalition or party will be given "bonus" seats to obtain the minimum of 55 per cent of seats required in the region. The remaining seats are distributed among the other qualifying coalitions and individual parties. However, no regional majority bonus seats will be awarded in Molise, which elects only two senators.

Proportional representation seats which fall vacant between general elections are filled by the "next-in-line" candidate of the same party list. By-elections are held in the case of majority seats.
Voting is not compulsory.


Voter requirements:

- age: 25 at least years old
- Italian citizenship
- disqualifications: criminal conviction, moral worthlessness as per legal provision.

Based on Law No. 459/2001 and its enabling regulation (Presidential Decree No. 104 of 2003), Italians abroad meeting the above-mentioned requirements are eligible to vote to elect 6 members representing the Constituency for Italians Abroad (Circonscrizione Estero). They can vote by post or in the constituency in Italy in which they are registered. Electors residing overseas and wishing to return to Italy to cast their vote must notify the competent Consular Office in writing by 31 December the year before the normal expiry of the legislature or, in the case of a premature dissolution of Parliament, within 10 days of the calling of the election.



- Qualified electors
- age: at least 40 years old
- Italian citizenship

The candidates running in the Constituency for Italians Abroad must be both resident and qualified electors of that group.



- a number of public posts (including judges of the Constitutional Court and the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura, and membership of the National Council of Economy and Labour)
- executives of a State enterprise or State-assisted company.


Candidacy requirements:

- support of between 1,000 and 1,500 electors ( for independent candidates)
- support of between 1,000 and 3,500 electors (for candidates associated with a group having at least two other candidates in other constituencies of the same region).







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