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False Promises by South Tyrolean's People’s Party

Activists of the Initiative for More Democracy in South Tyrol

False Promises by South Tyrolean's People’s Party

18-06-2014

In Italy’s autonomous province of South Tyrol, the introduction of new direct democracy legislation faces more difficulties than expected. This is because promises by Arno Kompatscher, newly elected governor (or “Landeshauptmann”) of South Tyrol in January 2014, does not pkeep his promises of jointly working out new legislation with all involved political forces, including activists of the Initiative for Democracy in South Tyrol. 

A Round Table, as proposed by the Initiative for More Democracy, could have allowed to arrive at consensus and to commonly work out a proposal. Instead, the ruling South Tyrolean’s People Party announced to put into its own hands the drafting of new legislation, which is to exclude right from its start models of direct democracy that are practiced in Switzerland. 

As a consequence of the political move, two separate law proposals on direct democracy – one by the Initiative for More Democracy, the other one by the SVP – will now compete with each other with regards to being adopted by the Parliament (“Landtag”) of South Tyrol. Last year, the Initiative for More Democracy had initiated a law proposal for direct democracy reform. Backed by 18.000 signatures, this citizens’ initiative was successful in September 2013 and is now to be discussed by the constitutional committee of the South Tyrolean Parliament.

The Initiative for More Democracy expressed its disappointment following the broken promises by the SVP. As the Initiative for More Democracy states on 17 June, the SVP had reverted to its old style of rejecting direct democracy.

Campaigning for citizen-friendly direct democracy in Italy’s Northern Alpine province since 1995, the Initiative for More Democracy is well used to the SVP’s fierce opposition to direct democracy: Last year, the SVP tried to introduce a package of flawed citizen participation. If realised, it would have put serious obstacles to realising a citizen-initiated law proposal. However, the attempt by the SVP was defeated by a referendum, held in February 2014. The Initiative for More Democracy had initiated this referendum and ran a broad campaign against the SVP's law proposal in the second half of 2013.

More information:

- Initiative für Mehr Demokratie in Südtirol

Text by Cora Pfafferott

Also on direct democracy in South Tyrol

Electoral posters of the SVP (left) boykotted by the Initiative for More Democracy (right)
The citizens of South Tyrol want more effective and citizen-friendly rules of direct democracy. This is the result of a referendum held yesterday in...
Activists of the Initiative for More Democracy in South Tyrol
The “Initiative für Mehr Demokratie” (Initiative for More Democracy) in South Tyrol ran a successful campaign for citizen-friendly direct democracy...

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