ITALY
Parliamentary Chamber: Senato della Repubblica

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1994

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Chamber:
  Senato della Repubblica


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  27 March 1994
28 March 1994


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the elective seats in Parliament following the premature dissolution of this body on 16 January 1994. Previous general elections had taken place in April 1992.


Background and outcome of elections:

  On 13 January 1994, Prime Minister (since April 1993) Carlo Azeglio Ciampi tendered his resignation, stating that his Government had achieved its two primary objectives of electoral reform and budget austerity. Three days later, President of the Republic Oscar Luigi Scalfaro dissolved Parliament and asked Mr. Ciampi to continue as head of a caretaker administration; the March election date was then set.

Three opposing alliances together comprising 15 parties contested the 945 seats at stake. The right-wing Freedom Alliance consisted chiefly of the Forza Italia, the Northern League (LN) and the National Alliance (AN); the centrist Pact for Italy was made up of the Italian Popular Party (PPI) and the Segni Pact; and the left-wing Progressive Alliance mainly included the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS), the Communist Refoundation, the Greens and the Socialist Party (PSI): These alliances were largely necessitated by the terms of the new Electoral Law (see above). Against a background of massive political bribery scandals, which had especially plagued the formerly ruling Christian Democratic (now PPI) and Socialist parties, most of the some 5,000 candidates in the running called for clean and efficient government. But allegations of dishonesty and involvement with the Mafia inevitably embittered the campaign. Among the foremost party leaders, Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, a businessman-turned-politician heading the Forza Italia, promised to produce a “new Italian miracle” in the economy to counter unemployment, wasteful spending, high taxes and corruption; Forza Italia also adopted an original electoral strategy by seeking regionally diversified political alliances to win seats in single-member constituencies. PDS, successor of the Communist Party and led by Mr. Achille Occhetto, pledged to continue the austerity and privatisation policies of Mr. Ciampi.

Polling results marked a clear repudiation of the centrist parties that had dominated Italian politics since World War II as Forza Italia especially exploited public discontent with them. Of the three opposing blocs, the Freedom Alliance, led by LN, came out ahead in both Houses. Securing an absolute majority of Deputies’ seats. Despite this success, the conservatives found it difficult to put together a new government due to their infighting and divergent view; considerable friction existed in particular between the federalist LN, led by Mr. Umberto Bossi, and the neo-fascist AN, headed by Mr. Gianfranco Fini. On 28 April, President Scalfaro formally asked Mr. Berlusconi to form a new government, which he did on 11 May.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (27 and 28 March 1994): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 41,966,858
Voters 35,905,735 (85.5%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 2,831,186
Valid votes 33,074,549

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Proportional Majority
Freedom Alliance 156 28 128
Progressive Alliance 122 26 96
Pact for Italy 31 28 3
Others 6 1 5

Comments:
  This figures refer only to the elected Senators

The Freedom Alliance comprises:

  • Northern League (LN) : 58 seats
  • National Alliance (AN): 43 seats
  • Forza Italia: 41 seats
  • Christian Democratic Centre (CCD): 12 seats
  • Pannella List:2 seats
  • Union of the Democratic Centre (UDC)
    The Progressive Alliance comprises:
  • Democratic Party of the Left (PDS): 66 seats
  • Communist Refoundation (PRC): 19 seats
  • Greens: 7 seats
  • Socialist Party (PSI): 12 seats
  • Democratic Alliance (AD): 7 seats
  • La Rete: 6 seats
  • Christian Socialist Party: 5 seats
    The Pact for Italy comprises:
  • Italian Popular Party (PPI): 27 seats
  • Segni Party: 4 seats
  • Distribution of seats according to sex:  
    Men: 297
    Women: 29

    Distribution of seats according to age:  
    40-49 years 39%
    50-59 years 37%
    60 years and over 24%


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    Copyright 1994 Inter-Parliamentary Union