Roberto Formigoni (Lecco, 30 March 1947) is an Italian politician, and the current President of Lombardy Region, Italy.
Life and career
Graduated in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Milan, he studied political economy at the Sorbonne, in Paris.
Roberto Formigoni began very early his political career in Christian Democracy, through youth movements such as Gioventù Studentesca and Communion and Liberation (of which he became the unofficial political spokesman).
In 1976 he founded the Popular Movement and was elected a deputy in both the European Parliament (with over 450 thousand votes) and Parliament of Italy. He was also the Vice-President of the European Parliament for five years and served as under-secretary for the Environment in the Italian government.
In 1990 he garnered attention when he was involved in a mission to Iraq which successfully concluded with the freeing of some Italian technicians who were hostages of the local government.
In 1995, founded with Rocco Buttiglione the United Christian Democrats party. In 1998 he moved to Forza Italia, when Buttiglione briefly decided to support the government of Massimo D'Alema.
He was elected as President of Lombardy in 1995.
Promoting a decidedly conservative platform on many issues, resulting in a political backlash from some liberal groups, President Formigoni was re-elected in 2000 carrying over 62% of the approximately 3.5 million votes, and in 2005.
He was elected again for a fourth term in March 2010. His candidature had been contested by academics and left-wing politicians, as in disregard of Law n. 165/2004, that put a limit of two subsequent mandates to directly-elected Region Presidents. Formigoni was indirectly elected in 1995, but then directly elected in 2000 and 2005. He defends himself stating that the law was not in action when he was first directly elected in 2000, so he should be allowed a 4th mandate. According to some scholars, his mandate may be overturned by judges later on.
Formigoni also sparked controversies when agreeing to put in his majority-premium list, granting her safe election, Nicole Minetti, former showgirl and actual dental hygienist of Silvio Berlusconi, who asked for a political seat for her.
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