Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Tuesday that Italy’s largest parties agree on the need for a proportional representation electoral system and that a law to adapt it should be enacted in the first week of July. Renzi’s confirmation of the position of the ruling center-left Democratic Party (PD), of which he is head, raised the chances of an early national election before one is due to be held in May 2018, political commentators said. Some commentators said an approval of a new electoral law in early July would raise the chances of an unprecedented autumn parliamentary vote, perhaps as early as September. Italy has never had a parliamentary election later than June.
In an address to the PD directorate, Renzi, who previously had favored a first-past-the-post system, said it was now clear that the country was heading toward a German-style proportional representation system in which parties must reach a 5 percent threshold to enter parliament.
“I propose that we [the directorate] approve supporting a German-style system,” he said, adding that he expected the law to be passed.