Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918

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World History

147.

The Electoral Law of 1928 (Extracts)

17

. . . . .

ARTICLE 2.

All [male] citizens may be electors who are twenty-one years of age, or eighteen years provided they are married Or widowers with children, and have attained these respective ages not later than May 31st of the year in which the revision of the electoral lists takes place. They must furthermore meet one of the following requirements:

a) Payment of dues to a syndicate . . . except when the voter is an administrator or member of an organisation or concern paying syndical dues. . . . In the case of holders of stock in limited and unlimited companies, only registered shares which have been in . . . possession for at least one year confer the right to vote;

b) Payment of at least 100 lire per annum of direct taxes to the State, province or commune, unless the voter has been for at least a year the owner or beneficiary of registered bonds of the public debt or of registered bonds of provincial or communal loans yielding an income of 500 lire annually;

c) Receipt of a stipend, salary or pension, or other emolument of continuous character, provided in the budget of the State, province or commune, or any other body which is subject by law to the supervision of the State, province or commune;

d) Membership of the Catholic clergy, secular or regular, or minister of another religion the exercise of which is admitted in the State.

. . . . .

ARTICLE 44.

The number of deputies for the Kingdom shall be 400.18

The Kingdom shall form a single national constituency.

. . . . .

ARTICLE 46.

The election of the deputies shall take place through:

1) the designation of candidates by the organisations mentioned in Articles 47 and 51;

2) the nomination of candidates by the Fascist Grand Council;

3) approval by the electoral body.

ARTICLE 47.

The right to designate candidates belongs first to the National Confederations of legally-recognised syndicates. . . .

The organisations mentioned above shall designate a total number of candidates which is double the number of deputies to be elected [800].

The distribution of this number among the various confederations is made in the table annexed to the present Law.

The candidates shall be designated, for each confederation, by its general or national council regularly elected and convoked in accordance with the Statutes.

The meetings called for the selection of candidates shall be held in Rome. The persons who receive the largest number of votes at these meetings shall be designated as candidates. . . .

. . . . .

ARTICLE 51.

Candidates may also be designated by legally-recognised enti morale [incorporated bodies] and by de facto associations having national importance and pursuing ends of culture, education, assistance and propaganda.19

The right of such enti morale and associations to designate candidates is recognised by Royal Decree if approval is expressed by a committee of five senators and five deputies named by their respective assemblies. The decree granting this right is subject to revision every three years.

The above-mentioned organisations may propose a total number of candidates equal to one-half of the deputies to be elected [200]. The distribution of this number among the various recognised organisations and the manner of selecting the candidates is set forth in the decree conferring the right to propose candidates. . . .

ARTICLE 52.

. . . The Secretariat of the Fascist Grand Council, on receiving the names of the proposed candidates, shall form a single list of candidates in alphabetical order, indicating beside each name the organisation proposing him. . . .

The Fascist Grand Council shall nominate a list of candidates, choosing freely from the list of those designated and even elsewhere if necessary, in order to include persons who have achieved fame in the sciences, letters, arts and politics, and in the defence services, who do not figure in the list of candidates.

A report on the deliberations of the Grand Council shall be drawn up under the direction of the Secretary of the Grand Council itself.

The list of nominated deputies, bearing the emblem of the "Lictors’ Fasces," on the model prescribed for the emblem of the State, shall be published free of cost in the Gazzetta Ufficiale and posted in all the communes of the Kingdom under the direction of the Minister of the Interior.

ARTICLE 53.

The elections for the approval of the list of deputies nominated shall take place on the third Sunday following the publication of the list. . . .

The vote shall be cast on ballot papers bearing the sign of the "Lictors’ Fasces" and the formula: "Do you approve the list of deputies nominated by the Fascist Grand Council?"

The vote shall be expressed beneath this formula by the word "Yes" or "No."

. . . . .

ARTICLE 88.

Should the list of deputies nominated not be approved, the Court of Appeal of Rome, by a decree, shall order new elections with competing lists of candidates, and shall set the date of the elections not sooner than 30 and not later than 45 days from the date of the decree. . . .

At the second election all associations and organisations having 5000 voting members who are regularly registered in the electoral lists may present lists of candidates. . . .

ARTICLE 89.

The lists containing the surnames and names of the candidates shall not contain a number of candidates exceeding three-fourths of the deputies to be elected. . . .

. . . . .

ARTICLE 100.

The Court of Appeal in Rome, acting as a national electoral office, . . . shall count the [popular] votes obtained by each list and proclaim the result of the ballot.

All the candidates of the list which has received the plurality of votes cast are declared elected.

Places reserved for minority representations shall be distributed among the other lists in proportion to the number of votes cast for each. . . .

. . . . .

TABLE OF CANDIDATES

Number of candidates that each National Confederation of legally-recognised syndical associations may propose for each hundred candidates presented by the Confederations:20

1. National Confederation of Agriculturists, 12;

2.National Confederation of Employees and Workers in Agriculture, 12;

3.National Confederation of Industrialists, 10;

4.National Confederation of Employees and Workers in Industry, 10;

5.National Confederation of Merchants, 6;

6.National Confederation of Employees and Workers in Commerce, 6;

7.National Confederation of Persons Conducting Air and Sea Transport Services, 5;

8.National Confederation of Employees and Workers in Air and Sea Transport Services, 5;

9.National Confederation of Persons Conducting Transport Services by Land, Lakes and Rivers, 4;

10.National Confederation of Employees and Workers in Transport Services by Land, Lakes and Rivers, 4;

11.National Confederation of Credit and Insurance, 3;

12.National Confederation of Employees of Credit and Insurance, 3;

13.National Confederation of Professionals and Artists, 20.

17 Royal Decree of September 2, 1928 (No. 1993), approving the text of the electoral law of May 17, 1928, in B. Mussolini, Fascism, Doctrine and Institutions, Ardita, Rome, 1935, pp. 182–194; original text in Supplement to Gazzetta Ufficiale del Regno d’Italia, Ministry of Grace and Justice, Rome, September 8, 1928, No. 210.

18 This represented a reduction of 160 from the former total.—Ed.

19 The reference is to such enti morale as the Dopolavoro, for a description of which see Document No. 151.—Ed.

20 Since the confederations together proposed 800 candidates, each individual confederation was given the right to propose eight times as many names as the number designated in the accompanying table.—Ed.

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Chicago: "The Electoral Law of 1928 (Extracts)," Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918 in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan (Chicage: Lippincott, 1951), 526–530. Original Sources, accessed April 17, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8NAVDB5BFB6H4EL.

MLA: . "The Electoral Law of 1928 (Extracts)." Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, edited by Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan, Chicage, Lippincott, 1951, pp. 526–530. Original Sources. 17 Apr. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8NAVDB5BFB6H4EL.

Harvard: , 'The Electoral Law of 1928 (Extracts)' in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918. cited in 1951, Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. , Lippincott, Chicage, pp.526–530. Original Sources, retrieved 17 April 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8NAVDB5BFB6H4EL.