Politics of Emilia-Romagna

Democratic Party (Italy) Independent politician Lega Nord

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The Politics of Emilia-Romagna, Italy takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democracy, whereby the President of Regional Government is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the Regional Government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Legislative Assembly.

The region has long been a stronghold of the Italian Communist Party and its successors, from the Democratic Party of the Left to the present-day Democratic Party, and is part of the so-called "Red belt", along with Tuscany, Marche and Umbria.[1][2][3]

Executive branch

The Regional Government (Giunta Regionale) is presided by the President of the Region (Presidente della Regione), who is elected for a five-year term, and is composed by the President, the Ministers (Assessori), who are currently 12, including a vice president and one Under-Secretary for in President's office.[4]

List of Presidents

Legislative branch

The Legislative Assembly of Emilia-Romagna (Assemblea Legislativa dell'Emilia-Romagna) is composed of 50 members. 40 councillors are elected in provincial constituencies by proportional representation using the largest remainder method with a Droop quota and open lists, while 10 councillors (elected in bloc) come from a "regional list", including the President-elect. One seat is reserved for the candidate who comes second. If a coalition wins more than 50% of the total seats in the council with PR, only 5 candidates from the regional list will be chosen and the number of those elected in provincial constituencies will be 45. If the winning coalition receives less than 40% of votes special seats are added to the council to ensure a large majority for the President's coalition.[5]

The council is elected for a five-year term, but, if the President suffers a vote of no confidence, resigns or dies, under the simul stabunt, simul cadent clause introduced in 1999 (literally they will stand together or they will fall together), also the council is dissolved and a snap election is called.[6]

Local government


Emilia-Romagna is divided in nine provinces, which are a traditional form of local administration in the region.

Socialist and communist ideas had an early diffusion in quite all the provinces around World War I. After the Fascist parenthesis, left-wing parties found their strongholds in Emilia-Romagna, also known as the "red region of Italy".

Province Inhabitants[7] President Party Election
Bologna 1,012,535 Virginio Merola Democratic Party 2015
Ferrara 346,034 Barbara Paron Democratic Party 2018
Forlì-Cesena 394,654 Gabriele Antonio Fratto Centre-left independent 2018
Modena 702,983 Gian Domenico Tomei Democratic Party 2018
Parma 451,666 Diego Rossi Civic list 2018
Piacenza 286,731 Patrizia Barbieri Centre-right independent 2018
Ravenna 390,433 Michele De Pascale Democratic Party 2016
Reggio Emilia 532,102 Giorgio Zanni Democratic Party 2018
Rimini 338,035 Riziero Santi Democratic Party 2018


Tuscany is also divided in 331 comuni (municipalities), which have even more history, having been established in the Middle Ages when they were the main places of government. 17 comuni (9 provincial capitals) have more than 35,000 inhabitants.[7]

Provincial capitals

Municipality Inhabitants[7] Mayor Party Election
Bologna 390,198 Virginio Merola Democratic Party 2016
Ferrara 132,125 Alan Fabbri League 2019
Forlì 117,892 Gian Luca Zattini League 2019
Modena 185,045 Gian Carlo Muzzarelli Democratic Party 2019
Parma 197,132 Federico Pizzarotti Italy in Common 2017
Piacenza 103,398 Patrizia Barbieri Independent (centre-right) 2017
Ravenna 158,503 Michele De Pascale Democratic Party 2016
Reggio Emilia 172,196 Luca Vecchi Democratic Party 2019
Rimini 150,013 Andrea Gnassi Democratic Party 2016

Other municipalities with more than 35,000 inhabitants

Municipality Inhabitants[7] Mayor Party Election
Cesena 97,216 Paolo Lucchi Democratic Party 2017
Carpi 71,281 Alberto Bellelli Democratic Party 2019
Imola 69,924 Manuela Sangiorgi Five Star Movement 2018
Faenza 58,863 Giovanni Malpezzi Democratic Party 2015
Sassuolo 40,863 Gian Francesco Menani Independent (centre-right) 2019
Casalecchio di Reno 36,509 Massimo Bosso Democratic Party 2019
Cento 35,485 Fabrizio Toselli Civic List 2016
Riccione 35,044 Renata Tosi Independent (centre-right) 2017

Parties and elections

Latest regional election

In the latest regional election, which took place on 26 January 2020, Stefano Bonaccini (Democratic Party) was re-elected President of Emilia-Romagna, despite a strong challenge posed by Lucia Borgonzoni (Lega Nord EmiliaRomagna).

26 January 2020 Emilia-Romagna regional election results
Emilia-Romagna Regional Council 2020.svg
Candidates Votes % Seats Parties Votes % Seats
Stefano Bonaccini 1,195,742 51.42 1 Democratic Party 749,976 34.69 22
Bonaccini for President 124,591 5.76 3
Brave Emilia-Romagna 81,419 3.77 2
Green Europe 42,156 1.95 1
More EuropePSIPRI 33,087 1.53
Volt Emilia-Romagna 9.253 0.43
Total 1,040,482 48.12 28
Lucia Borgonzoni 1,014,672 43.63 1 League 690,864 31.95 14
Brothers of Italy 185,796 8.59 3
Forza Italia 55,317 2.56 1
Borgonzoni for President 37,462 1.73
Cambiamo!The People of Family 6,341 0.29
Youths for the Environment 6,007 0.28
Total 981,787 45.41 18
Simone Benini 80,823 3.48 Five Star Movement 102,595 4.74 2
Domenico Battaglia 10,979 0.47 3V Movement 11,187 0.52
Laura Bergamini 10,269 0.44 Communist Party 10,287 0.48
Marta Collot 7,029 0.30 Power to the People 8,048 0.37
Stefano Lugli 5,983 0.26 The Other Emilia-Romagna 7,830 0.36
Blank and invalid votes 48,477 2.04
Total candidates 2,325,497 100.00 2 Total parties 2,162,216 100.00 48
Registered voters/turnout 3,508,179 67.67
Source: Ministry of the Interior – Election in Emilia-Romagna


  1. ^ Ceccarini, Luigi; Newell, James L. (2019). The Italian General Election of 2018: Italy in Uncharted Territory. Springer. p. 252. ISBN 9783030136178. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  2. ^ Newell, James L. (2010). The Politics of Italy: Governance in a Normal Country. Cambridge University Press. p. 229. ISBN 9781139788892. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  3. ^ Barbieri, Giovanni (2012). "The Northern League in the 'Red Belt' of Italy" (PDF). Bulletin of Italian Politics. University of Glasgow. 4 (2): 277–294. ISSN 1759-3077. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  4. ^ Giunta - ERMES Regione Emilia-Romagna Archived 13 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ La Repubblica – Regional electoral law
  6. ^ "Regional Council of Lombardy – 1999 Constitutional law" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d "Bilancio demografico anno 2018 (June 2018)". ISTAT. Retrieved 1 November 2018.