Martinazzoli, Mino

(1931– )
   The last secretary of the Democrazia Cristiana/Christian Democracy Party (DC) before its demise in January 1994, Mino Martinazzoli had long been the party’s conscience. Born in the province of Brescia (Lombardy), Martinazzoli made his way into national politics via local politics. He was elected to the Senate in 1972 and was reconfirmed in the subsequent elections of 1976 and 1979. In 1983, he switched houses and was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. Martinazzoli served as minister of justice in the first government of Bettino Craxi, and as minister for defense under Giulio Andreotti between 1989 and 1991. In October 1992, the DC turned to him in desperation as the corruption investigations grew in intensity and the full extent of the DC’s misgovernment became clear. As party secretary, Martinazzoli did his best to revive the DC, but its electoral fate was sealed by the allegations of links between leading DC politicians and the mafia in the spring of 1993. After an electoral calamity in local elections in June 1993, and further, even graver, defeats in November–December 1993, Martinazzoli decided that the DC was beyond saving. Although the party’s right split away to form the Centro Cristiano Democratico/Christian Democratic Center (CCD), he and the majority of the former DC transformed its remnants into the Partito Popolare Italiano/Italian People’s Party (PPI), apparently hoping that the revival of that name would provide the party with new vigor and renewed credibility. That was not to be. The 1994 elections were something of a disaster for the PPI, which overestimated its electoral support and was not able to hold the balance of power in the new Parliament, as Martinazzoli had hoped. Martinazzoli was replaced as party leader by Rocco Buttiglione after the elections. He returned to local politics and in April 1995 was elected first mayor of Brescia and subsequently member of the Lombardy regional assembly.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

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