The last time there were so many parties was in the 1993 state elections. At that time, ten Italian and six German parties ran for a seat in the South Tyrol state parliament. Today the relationship is almost reversed, which is due to fragmentation of the German-speaking party scene.
With the People’s Party of South Tyrol, Team K, the Greens, the Freedom of South Tyrol, the Freedom Party, Enzian, South Tyrol with Widmann, JWA and Vita, nine parties from the German-speaking camp stand in the elections . Four of them, namely Enzian, Südtirol with Widmann, JWA and Vita, compete for the first time. On the Italian side, seven parties are running in the elections. In addition to the long-standing parties Lega, Partito Democracia, Fratelli d’Italia, Forza Italia and Movimento 5 Stelle, there are also two new lists: Centro Destra and La Civica.
Of the 16 parties admitted to the election, eight parties (SVP, Team K, Verdes, JWA, Lega, Partito Democrato, Fratelli d’Italia, Centro Destra and La Civica) present the largest possible number of candidates, namely 35. Seven parties managed to enter on the only partially filled lists, namely Movimento 5 Stelle (34), Südtiroler Freiheit (30), Freiheitliche (28), Enzian (23), Südtirol with Widmann (22), Forza Italia (20) and Vita (16).
Of the 488 candidates, 290 are men and 198 are women. This means that around 40% of candidates are women. According to electoral law, at least one third of the candidates on a list must be of the opposite sex. If the legal quota is not met, a proportionate number of places on the list must remain free.
German speakers are fragmented
With La Civica, Verdes, Partido da Liberdade and Vita, there are four lists headed by a woman. The last three even have a double female lead. The party with the most candidates is the Greens. 17 of the 35 candidates are women.
No party has as many mayors on the list as the South Tyrolean People’s Party. An impressive 13 former and current mayors are on the list. In addition to the previous deputies Kompatscher, Schuler, Noggler and Locher, the mayors of Laas and St. Martin in Passeier as well as the mayors of Brixen, Kurtinig, Lana, Ritten and Prettau are also pushing for the South Tyrol state parliament. They are also present the deputy mayor of Bolzano and the former mayor of Brenner.
Voters have no shortage of alternatives in the next elections and excitement is guaranteed. The big question will be to what extent the fragmentation in the German camp will harm the South Tyrol People’s Party.