Italy is governed under the constitution of 1948 as amended. The president, who is the head of state, is elected by both houses of Parliament and 58 regional representatives for a seven-year term; there are no term limits. The premier, who is the head of government, is appointed by the president and approved by Parliament. The Council of Ministers, head by the premier, serves as the country's executive; it must have the confidence of parliament. The bicameral parliament consists of the 630-seat Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, with 315 popularly elected members plus a few life or ex officio members. All legislators, who are chosen through a mix of constituency and proportional voting, serve five-year terms. Administratively the country is divided into 15 regions and five autonomous regions, which also have parliaments and governments.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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