1971 Italian presidential election

Giovanni Leone Christian Democracy (Italy) Francesco De Martino
1971 Italian presidential election

← 1964 9–24 December 1971 1978 →

1,008 voters
(320 Senators, 630 Deputies
and 58 regional representatives)
673 or 505 votes needed to win
  Presidente Leone.jpg
Nominee Giovanni Leone
Party Christian Democracy
Electoral vote 518
Percentage 51.4%

President before election

Giuseppe Saragat
PSDI

Elected President

Giovanni Leone
DC

The Italian presidential election of 1971 was held in Italy on 9–24 December 1971.

Only members of Parliament and regional delegates were entitled to vote, most of these electors having been elected in the 1968 general election and in the 1970 regional elections. As head of state of the Italian Republic, the President has a role of representation of national unity and guarantees that Italian politics comply with the Italian Constitution, in the framework of a parliamentary system.

On 24 December 1971 former Prime Minister and President of the Chamber of Deputies Giovanni Leone was elected President with 518 votes out of 1,008, the smallest majority ever obtained by an elected President. With twenty-three rounds of voting this presidential election remains still today the longest presidential election in the Italian republican history.

Procedure

In accordance to the Italian Constitution, the election was held in the form of a secret ballot, with the Senators and the Deputies entitled to vote. The election was held in the Palazzo Montecitorio, home of the Chamber of Deputies, with the capacity of the building expanded for the purpose. The first three ballots required a two-thirds majority of the 1,008 voters in order to elect a president, or 673 votes. Starting from the fourth ballot, an absolute majority was required for candidates to be elected, or 505 votes. The presidential mandate lasts seven years.

The election was presided over by the President of the Chamber of Deputies Sandro Pertini, who proceeded to the public counting of the votes, and by the President of the Senate Amintore Fanfani.

Proposed nominees

Chronology

The period or the late 1960 – 1970s came to be known as the Opposti Estremismi, (from left-wing and right-wing extremists riots), later renamed anni di piombo ("years of lead") because of a wave of bombings and shootings — the first victim of this period was Antonio Annarumma, a policeman, killed on 12 November 1969 in Milan during a left-wing demonstration. In December 1969, four bombings struck in Rome the Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II (Altare della Patria), the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, and in Milan the Banca Commerciale and the Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura. The later bombing, known as the Piazza Fontana bombing of 12 December 1969, killed 16 and injured 90. Social protests, in which the student movement was particularly active, shook Italy during the 1969 autunno caldo (Hot Autumn), leading to the occupation of the Fiat factory in Turin.

In December 1970, a neo-fascist coup, dubbed the Golpe Borghese, was planned by young far-right fanatics, elderly veterans of Italian Social Republic, and supported by members of the Corpo Forestale dello Stato, along with right-aligned entrepreneurs and industrialists. The "Black Prince", Junio Valerio Borghese, took part in it. The coup, called off at the last moment, was discovered by the newspaper Paese Sera, and publicly exposed three months later.[1]

In this extremely difficult context for republican institutions, on 9 December 1971 Italian Parliament convened to elect a new President. As a result of the 1968 general election, left-wing parties had now more representatives in the Parliament, while Christian Democracy had shrunk its numbers, making it more difficult to elect the new President without the help of its centre-left allies.

After a long voting period which lasted almost two weeks, the Christian democrat Giovanni Leone managed to be elected President with the votes of the Christian Democracy and the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement, facing the extreme opposition of the left-wing parties.

Results

Candidate First round
9 Dec 1971
Second round
9 Dec 1971
Third round
10 Dec 1971
Fourth round
11 Dec 1971
Fifth round
12 Dec 1971
Sixth round
12 Dec 1971
Seventh round
13 Dec 1971
Eight round
13 Dec 1971
Ninth round
14 Dec 1971
Francesco De Martino 397 398 404 411 399 413 408 411 407
Amintore Fanfani 384 368 384 377 385 378
Giovanni Malagodi 49 50 50 50 51 48 50 52 47
Giuseppe Saragat 45 46 51 50 51 50 51 50 55
Augusto De Marsanich 42 39 38 42 43
Mariano Rumor 6
Other candidates 12 8 4 3 4 7 2 2 4
Blank papers 57 77 62 64 62 91 51 48 48
Invalid papers 1 3 1 2
Abstentions 21 22 15 11 13 12 446 444 445
Total 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008
Candidate Tenth round
14 Dec 1971
Eleventh round
15 Dec 1971
Twelfth round
15 Dec 1971
Thirteenth round
16 Dec 1971
Fourteenth round
17 Dec 1971
Fifteenth round
18 Dec 1971
Sixteenth round
18 Dec 1971
Seventeenth round
19 Dec 1971
Francesco De Martino 404 407 394 407 406 400 393 397
Amintore Fanfani 393 6 5
Giovanni Malagodi 48 48
Giuseppe Saragat 56 56 48 49 49 42
Pietro Nenni 7
Sandro Pertini 5 7
Other candidates 3 22 14 9 5 9 3 6
Blank papers 50 60 62 48 15 19 10 13
Invalid papers 2 2 1 1 2 1
Abstentions 445 20 490 494 533 536 583 580
Total 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008
Candidate Eighteenth round
20 December 1971
Nineteenth round
21 December 1971
Twentieth round
21 December 1971
Twenty-first round
22 December 1971
Twenty-second round
23 December 1971
Twenty-third round
24 December 1971
Francesco De Martino 402 390 402 400
Giuseppe Saragat 7
Pietro Nenni 9 408 408
Sandro Pertini 7 10 6 6 6
Giovanni Leone 503 518
Other candidates 7 6 10 7 19 25
Blank papers 12 17 15 17 46 36
Invalid papers 2 3
Abstentions 579 576 581 578 17 12
Total 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008 1,008
Source: Presidency of the Republic

Inauguration

Giovanni Leone officially sworn in as the new President of Italy on 29 December 1971.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ Montanelli, Indro; Mario Cervi (1991). L'Italia degli anni di piombo. Milan, Lombardy, Italy: Rizzoli Editore.