Italian Election, 1968

May 8, 1968

Report Outline
Coming Election in Prosperous Italy
Foundation of Italy's Present Position
Questions Before the Voters of Italy
Special Focus

Coming Election in Prosperous Italy

Influence of Economic Factors on the Voting

Italian voters are going to the polls May 19 and 20 to elect a new national Parliament. The 630 members of the Chamber of Deputies and the 315 members of the Senate to be chosen during the two days of balloting will succeed members of the Parliament elected in 1963; the old Parliament was dissolved on March 11, 1968. Premier Aldo Moro, leader of the Italian government during most of that period and head of the present caretaker government, is expected to form another middle-of-the-road coalition following the polling later this month. One observer has described the importance of the election in these terms:

If the Center-Left coalition, a radically new political orientation, wins by even a narrow margin, Italy may be on the way to achieving the most stable and democratic government in its century-old history as a modern state. If that coalition is defeated, political Italy will once again be polarized between an Extreme Right (right-wing Christian Democrats and Liberals) and an Extreme Left (Communists and dissident Socialists).

Recent events in Italy that provide a part of the backdrop for the election campaign have included a wave of strikes engineered by the country's largest national trade union federation (the Communist-dominated C.G.I.L.), a march on Rome by Sicilian earthquake victims dissatisfied with government relief measures, the temporary shutdown of 11 universities by students protesting against inadequate facilities, and the injury of hundreds in Rome in a battle early in March between students and police. According to an Italian university professor, the leaders of student agitation were for the most part “non-orthodox Marxists …in bitter disagreement with the leaders of the PCI—the Partita Comu-nista Italiana.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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May 08, 1968  Italian Election, 1968
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Sep. 16, 1949  Italian Colonies
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