ITALIAN POLITICS GUIDE
Italian System of Government: Parliamentary Republic
The politics of Italy are conducted within a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised collectively by the
Council of Ministers led by the President of the Council of Ministers ("Presidente del Consiglio" in
Italian). Legislative power is primarily vested in the two houses of Parliament, and secondarily in the Council
of Ministers. The Judiciary is independent of the Executive and the Legislative branches. Italy has been a
democratic Republic since June 2, 1946 (when the monarchy was abolished by popular referendum) and the Italian
Constitution became effective on January 1, 1948.
There is indeed some truth to the expression "Rise and fall like Italian Prime Ministers" (the country has had
over sixty governments since the end of the Second World War), though the one party of Christian Democrats
dominated the Cold War-era First Republic as they strove to prevent a Communist takeover. Massive
political realignments following the end of the Cold War led to the Second Republic, which until recently was
dominated by multibillionaire businessman Silvio Berlusconi.