- Italian Senate
name = Senato della Repubblica
coa_pic = Seal Italian Senate.gif
session_room = Aula senato.jpg
house_type = Upper house
leader1_type = President of the Senate
party1 = PdL
April 29, 2008
members = 315
7 lifetime senators
p_groups = Pdl 146
UDC SVP e Autonomie 11
election3 = April 13-14, 2008
Palazzo Madama, Rome
website = http://www.senato.itThe Italian Senate (Italian: Senato della Repubblica, 'Senate of the Republic') is the
upper houseof the Parliament of Italy. It was established in its current form on 8 May 1948, but it existed during the monarchy as Senato del Regno, ('Senate of the Kingdom'), continuing from the Subalpine Parliament of Piedmontestablished on 8 May 1848.
The Senate consists of 315 elected members ("senatori"), elected for a maximum of 5 years, of whom six represent Italians residing overseas. Senators must be 40 or older, and are elected by citizens 25 years of age or over. According to special constitutional provisions, 'life senators' may exist, either former presidents, as "ex officio" life senators, or those appointed by the president "for outstanding merits in the social, scientific, artistic or literary field".
As of 2006, there are seven life senators: Francesco Cossiga(former President), Oscar Luigi Scalfaro(former President), Giulio Andreotti(former Prime Minister), Rita Levi Montalcini(Nobel Prize winner for Medicine 1986), Emilio Colombo(former Prime Minister), Sergio Pininfarina(Designer), Carlo Azeglio Ciampi(former President). Giorgio Napolitano(former President of the Chamber of Deputies and former leader of the Communist Party), currently President of the Republic, is no longer a member of the Senate, and will be able to resume his duties as a senator in 2013 at the earliest.
Senate members meet at the
Palazzo Madamain Rome.
The Senate may be dissolved before the expiration of its normal term by the President of the Republic, when no government can obtain a majority.
Under the current Constitution, the Senate must hold its first sitting no later than 20 days after a general election. That session, presided by the oldest senator, proceeds to elect the President of the Senate for the following parliamentary period. On the first two attempts at voting, an absolute majority of all senators is needed; if a third round is needed, a candidate can be elected by an absolute majority of the senators present and voting. If this third round fails to produce a winner, a final ballot is held between the two senators with the highest votes in the previous ballot. In the case of a tie, the elder senator is deemed the winner.
In addition to overseeing the business of the chamber, chairing and regulating debates, deciding whether motions and bills are admissible, representing the Senate, etc., the
President of the Senatestands in for the President of the Republic when s/he is unable to perform his/her duties. The current President of the Senate (since 29 April 2008) is Renato Schifani.
Kingdom of Sardinia (1848-1860)
Italian Republic (1948-)
Parliament of Italy
Italian Chamber of Deputies
Senato Italiano (TV channel)
* [http://www.senato.it/ Official website] (in Italian)
* [http://www.senato.it/english/default.htm Official website] (in English)
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