Edmondo Privitera

His Excellency
The Right Honourable

Edmondo Privitera
2019 Rudolph Giuliani, Ex-Prefeito de Nova York - 48790298187.jpg
Edmondo Privitera, 2019
12th President of Imagua and the Assimas
Assumed office
23 April, 2016
Prime MinisterDouglas Egnell
Preceded byAgnes Ingram
13th Prime Minister of Imagua and the Assimas
In office
23 April, 2012 – 23 April, 2016
PresidentAgnes Ingram
DeputyDouglas Egnell
Preceded bySaverio Merante
Succeeded byDouglas Egnell
13th Prime Minister of Imagua and the Assimas
In office
23 April, 1984 – 23 April, 1992
PresidentMarguerite Ernman
DeputyGerald Larsson
Preceded byAnthony Brockett
Succeeded byIsaac Egnell
Member of Parliament for Rutigliano-South
In office
31 August, 1992 – 23 April, 2016
Preceded byGregorio Cristina
Succeeded byErmenegarda Ambrosia
Member of Parliament for Rutigliano-Piavenna
In office
23 April, 1972 – 23 April, 1992
Preceded byVerulo Campana
Succeeded byconstituency abolished
Personal details
Born
Edmondo Privitera

(1944-05-28) 28 May 1944 (age 76)
Piavenna, Nuovo Aeolia, Etruria
NationalityEtrurian (1944-1946)
Imaguan (1946-present)
Political partyDemocratic Labour Party (since 1972)
Other political
affiliations
Independent (1968-1972)
Spouse(s)Delfina Privitera
Children3
Alma materUniversità di San Pietro

Edmondo Privitera (b. 28 May, 1944) is the current President of Imagua and the Assimas, having been elected in March 2016, and former Prime Minister, serving from 1984 to 1992, and from 2012 until 2016, making him the first person to serve non-consecutive terms as Prime Minister, and until Douglas Egnell's re-election in 2020, the most recent person to serve two consecutive terms as Prime Minister of Imagua and the Assimas.

Privitera started his political career in 1968, when he stood for election for the parochial council of the Assimas Parish, serving until 1972 when he was elected to the Lesser House of Parliament to represent the constituency of Rutigliano-Piavenna, as a Democratic Labour member of Parliament. He became opposition leader in 1980, and was elected to the premiership in 1984, and 1988, during which time he oversaw Imagua's recovery from the recession, and implemented liberal social policies such as the legalisation of abortion, increasing environmental regulations, and decriminalising homosexuality.

In 1992, he ran for the presidency to succeed Marguerite Ernman, with his deputy, Gerald Larsson, running for the premiership, but lost to Erico D'Antonio and Isaac Egnell respectively. Thus, Privitera returned to the backbenches until 1997, when newly-elected Prime Minister Viviana Andreoli made him the Deputy Prime Minister. Following her retirement in 2001, he made a bid to try and return to the premiership, but was defeated by Erico D'Antonio.

After his loss to D'Antonio, Privitera once more returned to the backbenches, only returning to the shadow cabinet in 2007, and becoming leader of the opposition in 2008.

Edmondo Privitera would then go on to be re-elected in 2012, following the defeat of Saverio Merante, making him the first person to serve non-consecutive terms as Prime Minister. He would only serve one term, which was defined by the refugee crisis caused as a result of the Mariranan Civil War. In 2016, he ran for the Presidency again, while Douglas Egnell ran for the premiership, with Privitera elected to the presidency with 62.7% of the vote.

Early life

Childhood home of Edmondo Privitera, 2009

Edmondo Privitera was born on 28 May, 1944 in the town of Piavenna, as the third and youngest child, and second son, of shopkeeper and reservist Gioele Privitera and housewife Flaviana Privitera. When he was nearly two and a half years of age, the Assimas Islands were ceded from Etruria to Estmere, who attached the islands to Imagua, thereby establishing the present-day nation of Imagua and the Assimas.

In 1949, he began attending school at the Piavenna Primary School, where he was described as being a "middling student," although "very charismatic." In 1953, he was enrolled at the Piavenna Middle School, and in 1955, when he took the eleven-plus, he passed "by sheer luck," and thus was able to enroll at a grammar school.

As there were no grammar schools in Piavenna, he was enrolled at the Legionario Grammar School at Rutigliano. There, he was described as a "middling student," but was noted by his teachers to be "charismatic," with one teacher noting his potential to enter the political arena.

In 1960, he took the O-levels and passed with flying colours. Thus, he was allowed to go into Sixth Form: after passing his A-levels in 1962, he obtained a scholarship at the Università di San Pietro, where he majored in law. He obtained a bachelor's degree in 1965, and gained a master's degree in 1967 in law. That year, he married Delfina Berenato, after having dated her for four years.

However, Edmondo Privitera soon decided to not become a lawyer, instead seeking to enter politics as he felt that "the only way to make a change is to not work as a lawyer or a judge, but rather, as a politician."

Early political career

Early years

In 1968, Edmondo Privitera stood for election for the parochial council to represent his hometown of Piavenna. As all parochial candidates have to be independents, as per rules set at the national level, Privitera campaigned as an independent against incumbent representative Volfango Pisapia, who served from 1952.

Privitera's campaign was based on "changing things for the better," and arguing that Pisapia had ran out of ideas. Combined with his oratorial skill, he managed to win with 46.5% of the vote, with Pisapia losing by 43.3%, and other candidates taking the remaining share.

Thus, when he was sworn in on 23 April, 1968 on the parochial council, he soon discovered that the parochial government was "powerless," to such a point that Privitera believed that he had to run for the Lesser House in the next national election.

Thus, it came as a shock to Privitera in 1969 when the Assimas Autonomy Act of 1969 was passed, giving the Assimas Parish autonomy over education, welfare, and social development in the parish. While the parochial council was still to remain non-partisan, the parochial council now had more power than "ever before."

Despite this, he remained a backbencher: while he generally leaned more to the social left, he was a key swing voter over the next few years.

By 1972, however, Privitera decided to not run for a second term in the parochial council, and announced his intention to join the Democratic Labour Party.

Backbencher in the Lesser House

Edmondo Privitera, 1972

At that point, incumbent Democratic Labour member of Parliament, Verulo Campana announced his intention to retire. This left the Democratic Labour Party scrambling to find a replacement, but ultimately settled on Edmondo Privitera, as he had the most "political experience" of the potential candidates.

Thus, in the 1972 elections, he ran against Conservative candidate Ottavio Trevisan. Trevisan was a factory owner who had operated a shoe factory in Rutigliano since 1949, and was believed to have the potential to take the seat away from the DLP. In addition, Trevisan had strong support from the Conservative leadership, especially by Querano Piro.

Edmondo Privitera knew that he had to try and campaign on his record as member of the parochial council if he wanted to enter the Lesser House of Parliament, in addition to using his charisma to help him win support from his constituency of Rutigliano-Piavenna.

Thus, Privitera's campaign was largely based on his political experience: during one debate in that election with Trevisan, Privitera remarked that "Conservatives always talk about things getting better. The DLP will do whatever we can to make them better."

That line helped garner him a lot of support among the population, and on election day, he was elected with 60% of the vote to Trevisan's 40% of the vote, allowing the DLP to keep their seat, although the Conservatives managed to form government under Piro. Thus, he was sworn in as Member of Parliament on the 23rd of April, 1972.

Edmondo Privitera during this time started to build up his base of support among members of the Democratic Labour Party, with Privitera lending his support to the left-wing of the DLP. While he was never appointed in the shadow cabinet during his first term, by the next general election in 1976, he had become one of the major members of the DLP, especially with former Prime Minister Eric Fleming supporting Privitera.

In the 1976 election, he ran against Ernesto Savini of the Conservatives. While Savini initially had greater support than Privitera, Savini's lack of charisma hampered his campaign efforts, which allowed Privitera to win a second term.

Deputy Opposition Leader

Following his victory in 1976, Privitera's popularity garnered a lot of attention from the party leadership of the Democratic Labour Party. Thus, after the leadership review which saw Travis Marshall lose his position as leader, a leadership race was announced for February 1977.

As per tradition, all the candidates were Estmerophones, as the incumbent Prime Minister was an Etrurian-Imaguan, and the incumbent President was an Estmerish-Imaguan. Thus, Edmondo Privitera did not run for the leadership of the Democratic Labour Party, but endorsed the leftist candidate Fletcher Harrison.

By the time of the leadership convention, the three main candidates were Fletcher Harrisson on the left, former Prime Minister Marguerite Ernman on the centre, and Sebastian Young on the right. At the first round of voting, Harrisson was eliminated, leaving only Ernman and Young in the race. Concerned that Young would "turn the DLP into the tails of the Conservatives," Privitera endorsed Marguerite Ernman as the parliamentary leader, and urged the leftists in the DLP to back Ernman.

Thus, on 14 February, 1977, with 60% of the vote, Ernman became the parliamentary leader of the DLP, and thus, the leader of the Official Opposition. As a deputy opposition leader was needed, Marguerite Ernman tapped Edmondo Privitera, on account of his Etrurian heritage and his young age, meaning that there would be a successor for the DLP leadership.

With that, Edmondo Privitera became a major player in the Democratic Labour Party, as he was now the second-in-command of the DLP. During this time, Edmondo Privitera continued to be influential on the left-wing of the DLP, while his position in the shadow cabinet helped allow him to shape policies in the DLP.

In 1979, when the Democratic Labour Party held a conference to select a presidential candidate, he was approached to be the candidate for the President of Imagua and the Assimas by the party leadership, as he was Etrurian, compared to the incumbent's status as an Estmerophone. However, Privitera refused the offer, as he felt that he was "not experienced enough" to be President. Instead, the DLP ultimately chose Casimiro Fioravanti as the Presidential candidate.

In the 1980 presidential elections, Edmondo Privitera faced Rosalia Annunziata of the Conservatives. During the campaign, Privitera campaigned on the basis of his experience, while Annunziata campaigned on fears that he would "harm the economy of the fatherland." Thus, after the campaign, he won with just 55.3% of the vote, with 41.1% going to Annunziata, with the remainder going to other candidates.

First tenure as Leader of the Opposition

Edmondo Privitera, 1983

Despite his victory for his constituency, the Democratic Labour Party still failed to take control of the Presidency or the Lesser House, with Anthony Brockett of the Conservative Party becoming Prime Minister. Thus, Marguerite Ernman resigned from her position as leader of the official opposition, with a plan for a leadership conference in January 1981.

Thus, as he was an Etrurian-speaker, while the incumbent Prime Minister was an Estmerish-speaker, the tradition was upheld, meaning Edmondo Privitera can run for the leadership of the DLP. In that leadership race, his only serious opponent was Efrem Lacovara, a social democrat of the DLP, and former Prime Minister and President.

Over the next several weeks, Privitera gained substantial support, especially among the youth, and many who felt Lacovara was not a "viable candidate." Thus, on 26 January, 1981, Privitera became leader of the opposition with 54.2% of the vote, with Lacovara only gaining 45.8%. Thus, Edmondo Privitera became both the leader of the DLP and of the official opposition in the Lesser House of Parliament.

As leader of the opposition, Edmondo Privitera named Lacovara as deputy leader, and organized his shadow cabinet. In addition, Privitera began advocating for democratic socialist policies, saying in 1982 that "the economic crisis covering the world just shows how weak this economic system is to care about the workers."

During this time, he was starting to gain a lot of support over Anthony Brockett, as Brockett's decision to bail out the banks and end the peg of the Imaguan shilling and the Estmerish shilling, in addition to privatizing government agencies and corporations like the Imaguan Civilian Air Service were very unpopular. While those policies helped reduce unemployment from 12.3% in 1981 to 9.7% in 1982, many resented these policies.

Thus, by late 1983, it seemed likely that Edmondo Privitera would become Prime Minister. At the 1983 leadership convention, Privitera was confirmed as the DLP's nominee for the Prime Minister, with the DLP membership voting to nominate Marguerite Ernman as Presidential candidate by huge margins.

When the writ was dropped in 1984, Privitera ran against Conservative candidate Eginardo Massaro. While Eginardo Massaro was personally more popular than Edmondo Privitera in his constituency of Rutigliano-Piavenna, many voters in the constituency were wary of voting for Massaro as they felt that the policies of the Conservative government had undermined the economy in their communities.

Thus, on 19 March, 1984, Privitera won the seat with 68.9% of the vote, compared to Massaro's 26.7% of the vote, with other candidates receiving 4.3% of the vote. In addition, the DLP gained 23 seats, bringing them up to 47 seats, allowing the DLP to form a majority government.

First premiership

First term

Edmondo Privitera, 1987

With Marguerite Ernman winning the popular vote, and the Democratic Labour Party forming a majority in the Lesser House of Parliament, it certain that Ernman would become President and Privitera would become the next Prime Minister, succeeding Querano Piro and Anthony Brockett respectively.

Thus, after naming their cabinet, on 23 April, 1984, Edmondo Privitera officially succeeded Anthony Brockett as Prime Minister, and was sworn in as the thirteenth Prime Minister. He immediately appointed Gerald Larsson to be the Deputy Prime Minister.

As Prime Minister, he immediately halted the privatization of Air Imagua and began to implement policies to "strengthen labour rights" and "protect the workers" from exploitation. While the Conservative opposition led by Anthony Brockett criticized the plans, saying that it would "extend the recession," and could cause Imagua to become "as poor as Vilcasuamanas or Marirana," these policies were implemented with support from the DLP majority in the Lesser House, and rubber-stamped by the Senate.

By 1985, the economy officially exited recession, and the following year, the unemployment rate fell below 1978 levels, when it reached 7.2%. This helped increase support for Privitera and the DLP, as they were perceived to have a stronger grasp on the economy. However, the Conservatives said the recovery was a fluke, and that the policies would in the long run "harm the nation's standard of living," in addition to leaving "huge debt that our great-grandchildren will still be paying for them."

However, in late 1986, Edmondo Privitera's government was shaken by a scandal when they appointed ex-convict drug trafficker Arturo Davino to the Senate. Privitera defended the appointment of Davino, saying that "[Davino] helped draw attention to the continued disparity between the Bahio-Imaguan majority and the dominant Eucleo-Imaguan minority in the 1950s and 1960s."

By 1987, Marino Guccio was nominated by the Conservatives for the presidential election in 1988, with Isaac Egnell, leader since Brockett's death in 1985, nominated by the Conservatives to run as Prime Ministerial candidate. The Democratic Labour Party once again nominated both Marguerite Ernman and Edmondo Privitera to be their candidates for the Presidency and premiership respectively. That same year, Edmondo Privitera officially joined the newly-established Arucian Cooperation Organization.

When the writ was dropped on 25 January, 1988, he was also facing Pompeo Pisoni of the Conservative Party. However, by that point, it was clear that Rutigliano-Piavenna was a DLP safe seat, which meant many were predicting that Privitera would easily keep his own seat. Thus, it allowed Privitera to spend much of the election campaigning on a national level, attending all the debates organized by the Imaguan Television Service, and running his campaign.

On 25 March, 1988, Privitera won his own seat with 65.4% of the vote, with Pisoni only gaining 32.1% of the vote, and 2.1% going to other candidates. On the national level, the DLP took 42 seats in the Lesser House, which was a decrease of five seats, but still enough to maintain a majority government.

Second term

On 23 April, 1988, Marguerite Ernman was sworn in for her second term as President, with Edmondo Privitera and his cabinet also being sworn in for their second term as government.

In the early days of his second term, Privitera shifted his focus from the economy towards social policies, with Privitera seeking to legalize abortion up until twenty weeks. This decision, while it did garner support from the Etrurians, sparked a lot of controversy among the Estmerophones, who felt that traditional values would be violated.

After heated debates and discussions, the bill was watered down, so to allow abortions to be received only in case of medical reasons, or if the child was conceived of rape. While this helped ensure support from the Conservatives, it was opposed by both the left-wing of the Democratic Labour Party for not being pro-choice enough, and from the emerging National Reform Party, who viewed it as going "too far."

After passing the Senate, the Abortion Act of 1988 was signed on 22 September, 1988 by Ernman, and went into effect on 1 January, 1989.

Following the legalisation of abortion, Edmondo Privitera shifted his attention towards increasing environmental regulations, with Privitera's Environment Minister Isaiah Russell tabling a bill that would tighten environmental standards to the point where it would be some of the tightest environmental standards in the Asterias at that time. While this bill was supported among many in the DLP, Conservatives and the unions both opposed the bill for "harming Imagua's declining industries," with Isaac Egnell going so far as to say that Russell would be "the hangman of Imagua's once-mighty industrial sector."

Despite these tensions, the Imaguan Environmental Act of 1989 was passed in the summer of 1989.

Towards the end of the 1980s, Edmondo Privitera was losing popularity, especially following the revelations that Querano Piro was a sexual predator, combined with the "lenient sentences" that were given to him. This helped undermine the popularity of the DLP, with various by-elections held in 1989, 1990, and 1991 showing rising support for both the Conservatives and the National Reform Party.

In 1991, Privitera's government decriminalized homosexual relations, saying that "it is time to end this notion that homosexuality between consenting adults is a crime, or an illness." While it was popular in Cuanstad and in the Assimas, it was vastly unpopular in the rest of the island of Imagua, with Austin Houghton in particular claiming that its legalization would "only lead to old men marrying little girls, and old men marrying sheep."

By the 1991 leadership convention, with Marguerite Ernman having served her two terms, it was decided to select Edmondo Privitera to be the presidential candidate, while Gerald Larsson was to be selected as the Prime Ministerial candidate.

Campaign for the 1992 presidential election

Edmondo Privitera and Gerald Larsson, 1992

On 17 January, 1992, Edmondo Privitera requested the dissolution of the Lesser House of Parliament. Outgoing president Marguerite Ernman granted the request, with the general election scheduled to be on 27 March, 1992.

As expected, Edmondo Privitera campaigned for the Presidency on behalf of the Democratic Labour Party, while Gerald Larsson campaigned for the Prime Ministerial position. Initially, their primary opponents were Conservative presidential nominee Erico D'Antonio and Prime Ministerial nominee and former President, Isaac Egnell.

During the first few weeks of the 1992 presidential election, Privitera was polling evenly with Erico D'Antonio. However, by mid-February, the National Reform Party began to poll evenly with the two major parties, much to many people's surprise. By 6 March, 1996, when Austin Houghton was invited onto the debate stage, he performed better than both Egnell and Larsson, which alarmed the DLP, especially as some polls began to predict a minority government led by Houghton.

On 27 March, 1992, Privitera gained 35.2% of the popular vote, compared to D'Antonio's 37.2%, and Eva Crayford's 27.6% of the vote. In the Lesser House, the Conservatives gained 25 seats, compared to the DLP's 24, and the NRP's 21. While this meant a minority government led by Isaac Egnell, it also meant that neither Privitera nor Larsson had the popular support to lead the DLP.

Almost immediately, both Privitera and Larsson resigned from their positions, with speculation that Edmondo Privitera would try and call a by-election for his seat: as Rutigliano-Piavenna had been dissolved and replaced with Rutigliano West, Privitera announced his intention to run for that seat. The DLP member of Parliament, Gregorio Cristina resigned on 29 May, and a by-election was called for Rutigliano-South.

He ran against Conservative candidate Ulfo Correale, who had previously ran against Gregorio Cristina in the 1992 general election. However, on 31 July, 1992, Privitera defeated Correale 70.2% to 28.5%, which was worse compared to Cristina defeating Correale 52.2% to 47.3%.

Return to the Lesser House

Backbencher

On 31 August, 1992, Edmondo Privitera was sworn back into the Lesser House of Parliament, as member for Rutigliano-South.

During his sixth term in the Lesser House, Edmondo Privitera served as a backbencher, as he was not "particularly willing" to serve in the shadow cabinet, partially due to his belief that he had cost the Democratic Labour Party "an easy election," and partially to get to know his constituents in Rutigliano-South beyond the bit of Rutigliano that Rutigliano-Piavenna covered.

However, as this was a minority government, Privitera was able to try and negotiate backroom deals to try and keep government going. Despite this, he criticized the 1992 budget which included the government selling its two-thirds majority share in Air Imagua to (TBD), making Air Imagua 100% privately owned. Thus, he abstained in the budget for the 1993 fiscal year, but voted in favour of the budget for the 1994 fiscal year.

However, he voted against the budget for the 1995 fiscal year, which would have cut funding to education, and healthcare, as well as reducing agricultural subsidies. As the DLP joined the National Reform in voting against the budget, it was taken as a motion of no confidence, and thus forced an early election for the Lesser House.

During the 1995 elections, he appeared alongside Prime Ministerial candidate Ornell Elliott, with Privitera praising Elliott as being "a calm and steady presence." At the same time, he ran a "comfortable race" against Conservative candidate Erberto Pasquale.

While this made little difference when Austin Houghton became Prime Minister in May 1995, Edmondo Privitera was able to defeat Pasquale 58.5% to 38.7%, and in addition started making plans for a comeback to frontbench politics.

This opportunity would come when in the 1995 leadership conference, Ornell Elliott was nominated to run for the Presidency, defeating Gerald Larsson. This meant that the DLP would need to select a new Parliamentary leader, and while Edmondo Privitera was floated as a possible suggestion, Privitera endorsed Viviana Andreoli, the oldest MP in the Lesser House, and the longest serving as she served continuously since 1956, to be the parliamentary leader for the DLP. After endorsements from the party elites and the membership, Andreoli became the parliamentary leader of the DLP, but due to her age, it was decided to make Edmondo Privitera a deputy leader of the DLP.

In the 1996 presidential elections, Edmondo Privitera made frequent campaign appearances with Ornell Elliott, and advocated that "all people should vote the DLP to stop Rudy from taking office." Thus, he played an instrumental role in organizing the get-out-the-vote strategy that saw Elliott become President with 68% of the vote, compared to Rudy Wilkinson's 26% of the vote, and incumbent Erico D'Antonio's 6% of the vote.

The following year, the DLP and the Conservatives jointly voted against the budget proposed by the National Reform Party, triggering another election. In the 1997 elections, he faced Conservative nominee Surano Famiglietti, and National Reform nominee Miriam Fontana. After a vigorous campaign, he won with 62.7% of the vote, compared to Famiglietti's 34.3%, and Fontana's 0.8%, allowing him to keep his seat. As well, the DLP formed a majority government with Viviana Andreoli becoming Prime Minister.

Deputy Prime Minister

Privitera and (TBC) at a press conference, 2001

On 22 May, 1997, Viviana Andreoli was sworn in as Prime Minister, and Edmondo Privitera became Deputy Prime Minister.

While the position of Deputy Prime Minister was a ceremonial position, as the Deputy Prime Minister is the first-in-line after the Prime Minister, it was expected that should Andreoli die in office, he would immediately succeed her to serve as acting Prime Minister until fresh elections were held. As well, the role of Deputy Prime Minister meant that in the absence of the Prime Minister, he would chair cabinet meetings, and serve as acting Prime Minister until the Prime Minister returned.

Thus, during his seventh term, Edmondo Privitera represented Viviana Andreoli at many official functions, especially when travelling outside of the Asterias. In addition, Privitera wielded a great deal of influence over the government. In addition, Edmondo Privitera helped oversee the "entrenchment" of autonomy for the Assimas Islands with the passage of the Seventh Amendment to the Imaguan constitution, and repealed many of the policies passed by the National Reform Party government.

In 2000, he campaigned on behalf of Ornell Elliott to help him secure a second term. Elliott managed to win, defeating Erico D'Antonio 49% to 45%, with Austin Houghton only gaining 2.6% of the vote, and other candidates taking the remaining 3.4%. However, in late 2000, the popularity of the governing Democratic Labour Party fell as many felt that Viviana Andreoli was not doing enough to improve the country, and that Edmondo Privitera was not up to the task.

Despite this, at the 2000 leadership review, Viviana Andreoli retired "after the next elections," with Edmondo Privitera to run for a third term as Prime Minister to succeed Andreoli in 2001. Thus, when the writ was dropped in January 2001, the DLP was running against the National Party, a renamed version of the Conservative Party following the defection of many members of the National Reform Party, including the party's sole remaining MP, Holly Bates.

Thus, on the national level, he was competing against National leader Erico D'Antonio, and National Reform Party leader Miriam Fontana. Locally, he was competing against National candidate Irmina Ortolano, and Miriam Fontana. Thus, during the course of the campaign, Privitera campaigned extensively, both in his home constituency, and on the national level.

While it was predicted that D'Antonio would be the victor, Privitera sought to try and ensure that the National victory would be "as slim as humanly possible." Thus, he criticized National policies, saying that it would "destroy all unions," and "harm our children's education, and our national healthcare."

Thus, on 23 April, 2001, the DLP gained 33 seats in the Lesser House, but the Nationals gained 37 seats, making Erico D'Antonio the new Prime Minister. In his own constituency, he won with 53.1% of the vote, defeating Ortolano, who only got 41.3% of the vote, and Fontana, who only received 5.6% of the vote.

Return to the backbenches

Privitera at a constituency event, 2005

Immediately following the loss, Edmondo Privitera resigned as the leader of the Democratic Labour Party, and called for a leadership convention in July 2001. At that leadership convention, they selected Pete Tasuku to be the parliamentary leader, making him the first Marathi-descended parliamentary leader of any political party in Imagua and the Assimas.

Following this, Privitera retreated to the backbenches, with Privitera playing a "far less involved role" in the affairs of the DLP during the 2000s, focusing his attention on "rebuilding his personal image" in not just his constituency of Rutigliano-South, but also inside the country. As such, he reduced his public appearances outside of constituency events.

In the 2004 elections, he ran against National candidate Eugenio Matarese, who was lacking in charisma compared to Privitera. Thus, Privitera was able to keep his seat with 61% of the vote, with the remainder going to Matarese, with only two votes going to other candidates.

Following the defeat of the DLP to the Nationals for a second time, with Agnes Ingram becoming Prime Minister, and Erico D'Antonio returning to the Imaguan presidency, Edmondo Privitera was urged to try and run for the party leadership again, but Privitera declined, saying that "the time is not right for me to make a comeback [as leader of the DLP]." Thus, they selected Agostina Di Bari to serve as the party leader.

During his ninth term in the Lesser House of Parliament, Privitera continued to play a diminished role in the affairs of the DLP. However, Privitera did return to the shadow cabinet in 2007 when he was appointed the Shadow Minister of Minority Affairs. At around that time, he started to return to the political limelight.

In the 2008 elections, Erico D'Antonio's presidential term expired, which caused Agnes Ingram to run for the Presidency on behalf of the Nationals. At that point, they selected Winnie Read to be their presidential candidate, with Agostina Di Bari running for the Premiership.

On the local level, Privitera faced Settimio Campodonico, who unlike all the other candidates he faced prior in the local elections, was a paper candidate, as the National Party believed that Privitera cannot be defeated on the local level, but wanted to ensure that their voters in Rutigliano-South can vote for their candidate.

Thus, on 28 March, 2008, Privitera won with 83.5% of the vote, compared to Campodonico's 16.5% of the vote. However, the DLP did not fare as well as they hoped, as although they bumped their results up to 32 seats, they still remained the official opposition. Thus, Di Bari announced her resignation as party leader, and scheduled a leadership convention for July 2008. There, the delegates all elected Privitera by acclamation.

Second tenure as Leader of the Opposition

Edmondo Privitera at the 2011 leadership convention

As the Leader of the Opposition in the Lesser House of the Imaguan Parliament, Edmondo Privitera returned to this role for the first time in twenty-four years in July 2008.

Under this time, Privitera sought to use his role as leader of the opposition to help criticize the policies of the ruling National Party, especially under Prime Minister Saverio Merante. Thus, Privitera organized his shadow cabinet, with Gerald Larsson nominated as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

In March 2009, Privitera was met with a huge personal loss when Gerald Larsson died of lung cancer at the age of 89. At Larsson's funeral, Privitera described Larsson as being "a mentor, a friend, and a father figure" to not only him, but the Democratic Labour Party. Thus, in June of that year, he appointed Douglas Egnell to succeed Larsson as the deputy leader of the opposition.

In 2010, Edmondo Privitera openly criticized the decision by the National Party to admit more immigrants to Imagua and the Assimas, saying that "while Merante says that they are much needed and will help improve the workforce, the rich fat cats in Cuanstad lay off our workers and hire them, as they are cheaper to use." Thus, he proposed a bill to require that Imaguans receive "top priority" in hiring any jobs in the country, with migrants to be chosen "if there are no Imaguans who qualify." While this bill was defeated in the Lesser House, it did attract a lot of support from the Imaguan population.

By 2011, Edmondo Privitera seemed poised to retake the premiership again. At the 2011 leadership convention, the DLP confirmed him as their nominee for the Premiership, but also nominated deputy leader Douglas Egnell to become Prime Minister in the event that their presidential candidate, Immacolata Contessa won against Agnes Ingram.

Thus, when the writ was dropped on 30 January, 2012, Edmondo Privitera began his campaign, focusing his attention towards the national level. While locally, he was running against paper candidate Leontina Lia, on the national level, he was running against Merante.

While Privitera campaigned heavily on his proposals to increase regulations and to restrict immigration to Imagua, Merante campaigned on "continuing the course," and attacked the DLP for having "two centres of power (i.e. Egnell and Privitera)," which they viewed as "undermining party loyalty," and "anti-democratic."

When the first debates were held by the ITS in February, Privitera performed well in the Etrurian debates, while Egnell performed well in the Estmerish debates, compared to Saverio Merante. Thus, it seemed likely that the DLP may be able to form a majority in the Lesser House of Parliament.

However, on the personal level, Agnes Ingram maintained her popularity, and she was able to leverage her popularity against the DLP, saying that the DLP would "harm Imaguans" if elected by making it "impossible for companies to do business," meaning that "this exodus [of young people from Imagua] will only get worse."

Thus, as election day neared, both the DLP and the Nationals were polling relatively evenly.

However, on 23 March, 2012, the DLP secured thirty-six seats in the Lesser House of Parliament, compared to the National's thirty-four seats, or a gain of four seats in favour of the DLP. Unfortunately for Lia, more people voted Ingram for a second term, which was a "slightly disappointing result."

With this in mind, Lia conceded defeat to Ingram, while Merante conceded defeat to Privitera. Thus, during the next month, the DLP assembled their cabinet.

Return to the Premiership

First year

Edmondo Privitera at a press conference, 2012

On 23 April, 2012, Edmondo Privitera was sworn in as Prime Minister, succeeding Saverio Merante. As promised, Edmondo Privitera sought to reduce immigration to Imagua and the Assimas, increase regulations, and to institute "free tertiary education" for all citizens living on the islands.

To this end, Edmondo Privitera's first course of action was to institute free tertiary education, saying that "for decades, educated young people are going abroad to study, and when they study abroad, they generally stay abroad as they are more likely to find better jobs abroad," and that by providing free tertiary education, "we will be able to diversify our economy away from the pillars of natural gas, finance and tourism."

This was passed with all DLP MPs voting in favour of the motion, while the Nationals voting against it, except for two MPs who joined the DLP in voting in favour of it. In the Imaguan Senate, the bill passed with one vote. Thus, President Agnes Ingram signed the bill into law.

With one key promise dealt with, Privitera moved his attention towards restricting immigration, with the DLP proposing and passing legislation which ended the temporary foreign worker programme, and cut the yearly total of immigrants allowed into the country by half.

By October 2012, only one area remained: increasing regulations, as over the past decade, the National Party of Imagua had reduced regulations, with Privitera in particular criticizing some of them, which he felt "harmed labour rights" and put workers at undue risk. Thus, over the next several months, regulations in certain areas of the economy were increased, in an effort to protect worker rights.

In March 2013, Privitera tabled his first budget, which included plans to increase funding to healthcare, social services, and education, with Privitera stating that "in the past decade, funding to them has been stagnant. It is time to move forward as a country." After a vote, the budget passed.

Second year

With the passage of the budget, Privitera felt emboldened as he entered his second year of his third term in the Prime Ministerial office. At that point in time, the governing Democratic Labour Party had high approval ratings, with 38% of people reporting that the government's performance has been "excellent," 33% reporting it as "satisfactory," and only 29% reporting it as "poor."

With support from around seventy-percent of the population, Edmondo Privitera was confident in continuing to execute the government's legislative agenda. Thus, he set his priorities in improving services: in June 2013, the government approved funding for a children's hospital to be built in Altaithe, making it the first children's hospital in Imagua. At the same time, the government focused on investing "billions of shillings" into the nation's education system to help fix the nation's schools "so they may be at a high international standard."

However, in late 2013, things started to sour, as the Mariranan Civil War broke out in Marirana. This forced the government to shift their focus away from domestic policy and back to foreign policy, as many in the DLP wanted to support the Mariranan National Council, as opposed to the Mariranan government. While Privitera wanted to support the CNM, as Agnes Ingram remained President, she declared in September that the government in Marirana "was the only legitimate government," and called the CNM "traitorous."

By early 2014, it became clear that an influx of refugees would be arriving on the shores of Imagua and the Assimas. Thus, in January 2014, the government passed a bill to institute a wet foot, dry foot policy in which refugees intercepted by the Imaguan Coast Guard would be repatriated back to Marirana, while those who landed on Imagua and the Assimas would be registered as refugees.

This was criticized by many in the DLP, with backbencher Jonas Grimas arguing that it was a "severe betrayal of the campaign promise to limit immigration."

In contrast, Privitera said that "as the National Party maintain control of the Presidency and the Senate, we cannot afford to alienate their interests."

Despite this situation, in the 2014 budget, while it did maintain the increased funding to social services, education, and healthcare, it also increased funding to the Imaguan Constabulary to deal with the "increasing numbers of refugees from Marirana."

Third year

Privitera with cadets in the Imaguan Constabulary, 2014

With the 2014 budget passed, Edmondo Privitera knew that he had to focus on dealing with the refugee crisis, as the civil war in Marirana began to displace more people from their homes. Thus, two refugee camps were established, the Sant'Albano Refugee Camp at Saint Fiacre's, and the Piavenna Refugee Camp at his hometown of Piavenna, which were designed to accommodate five thousand refugees in each camp.

However, by June, it was estimated that the number of refugees who "landed" at Imagua and the Assimas reached fifteen thousand, which was more than the camps were able to handle. This forced the government to grant those with refugee status the right to work and reside in Imagua and the Assimas, with the two refugee camps being turned into "processing centres" where their claims would be processed.

Due to this decision, it helped attract more refugees to Imagua and the Assimas: by September 2014, it was estimated that the refugee population had risen to thirty thousand people. While Agnes Ingram supported the refugees, saying that "people have the right to flee conflict for the tranquility of Imagua," many Imaguans were becoming more critical of the refugee situation, with many demanding that they be resettled in another country.

This led to decreasing support of the Democratic Labour Party from among the population, as many felt that the DLP was "too soft on immigration." However, the decision by the National Party to also support refugee settlement in Imagua also helped take a toll on the popularity of the National Party.

By November 2014, tensions were starting to rise between the refugee population and the residents of Imagua and the Assimas, with anti-refugee rallies taking place in Cuanstad and San Pietro. While there were those who supported refugees, with pro-refugee rallies taking place in Cuanstad in reaction to the anti-refugee rallies, opinion polls strongly suggested a higher degree of opposition to the presence of refugees in Imagua, with 67% disapproving of the governmental policies to allow refugees to stay.

In January 2015, the budget again increased funding to the Imaguan Constabulary to deal with the refugee crisis. In addition, the government sought to implement policies which would tighten the number of refugees coming over into Imagua and the Assimas.

Fourth year

Edmondo Privitera, 2015

After the 2015 budget passed the Lesser House of Parliament, Edmondo Privitera started to focus his attention towards the 2016 general elections. In May 2015, a leadership convention was called by the Democratic Labour Party.

At the leadership convention, Edmondo Privitera announced his intention to run for the Presidency, stating that "over the past four decades of service in government, I have been delighted to be able to help shape this country for the better. I feel my life's destiny would to become President."

After being acclaimed as the presidential nominee, the matter was to decide on a successor. While Deputy Prime Minister Douglas Egnell attracted a lot of support, with Privitera endorsing Egnell to be the nominee for the premiership in 2016, Jonas Grimas also ran for the Prime Ministerial nomination, claiming that Egnell would be "soft on immigration," and "soft on crime," and accused Egnell of being a "National in sheep's clothing." In the aftermath, Egnell managed to prevail over Grimas, 60% to 40%, thus making him the Prime Ministerial candidate for the next general election.

With this settled, Edmondo Privitera returned his attention to the refugee crisis: in July 2015, it was estimated that the number of refugees who "landed" on Imagua and the Assimas was at 75,000 people. In August 2015, he announced plans to "discuss with other nations the possibility of resettling the refugees in other countries," especially in fellow member states of the Council of Estmerish Language States.

As well, Edmondo Privitera began to institute restrictions on new refugees: in October 2015, he tightened the rules, so to designate all "rocks" and minor islets "wet feet" for immigration purposes, thus meaning that those who landed on them would be ineligible to claim asylum, and would be repatriated back to Marirana.

By around this time, there was starting to be an outcry from the international community of the refoulement of refugees, but Privitera defended the decision, saying "we are a small nation of barely over a million. If we had to take every single refugee, it would completely and utterly overwhelm us, and we'd become a minority in our own land."

In January 2016, Privitera tabled a budget, which was designed to not only help deal with the refugee crisis, but also invest "handsomely" in as many fields as possible, which caused many to accuse the DLP of "attempting to win over voters" prior to the upcoming general elections.

On 25 January, 2016, after the budget was passed, Privitera requested that Agnes Ingram dissolve Parliament and call an election to be held on 25 March. This request was granted, thereby starting the election campaign. On that date, he also stepped down as MP for Rutigliano-West, with the DLP nominating Ermenegarda Ambrosia to succeed him.

2016 general election

Edmondo Privitera entered the presidential campaign in an optimistic manner, as he was facing against former Prime Minister Saverio Merante of the National Party for the presidential position.

The National Party not doing as well in the polls compared to the Democratic Labour Party, due to a combination of the anti-incumbency factor as the National Party had been in power in some shape or form since 2001, and the "mishandling of the National Party" when it came to the refugee crisis that was occurring as a result of the Mariranan Civil War, which meant that the DLP had a strong chance of not only maintaining control of the Lesser House of Parliament, but also taking the Presidency from the Nationals.

Thus, while the parliamentary election campaign was focused more on dealing with the refugee crisis, Edmondo Privitera chose to focus his attention on the anti-incumbency factor, as he believed that as many Imaguans were opposed to Mariranan refugees, "it'd be a bit redundant to focus too heavily on stoking the oppositions." Thus, Privitera attacked the National's record, saying that from 2001 to 2012, the Nationals had "substantially undermined the rights of the working class," "sold our country out to the corporations in Asteria Superior and Euclea," and vowed to "continue the progress that we have made in the past four years."

At the Presidential debates, Privitera performed extraordinarily well against Saverio Merante, with Privitera's performance in the debates helping boost his popularity among voters, as Privitera was perceived to have more experience, and was more willing to address the problems facing Imagua and the Assimas.

By March 25, 2016, Edmondo Privitera was elected with 62.7% of the vote, compared to Merante's 31.9%. The remainder mostly went to other candidates, most notably the Greens, who made a breakthrough when Mystelle Stone won a seat in the Lesser House, although the DLP were able to control thirty-seven seats, thereby maintaining their majority government. That night, Merante conceded defeat to Privitera.

Following this, the cabinet was organized, with Douglas Egnell appointed Prime Minister-designate.

Presidency

First term

Edmondo Privitera, 2019

On 23 April, 2016, Edmondo Privitera was sworn in as the twelfth President of Imagua and the Assimas, with Douglas Egnell, former Deputy Prime Minister, being sworn in as Prime Minister of Imagua and the Assimas.

Privitera urged the governing Democratic Labour Party on his inaugural speech to "take serious action to resettle refugees to other countries outside the Arucian region," so that the Mariranan refugees would "not overwhelm our ability to integrate them into the body politic."

Thus, over the next few months, Privitera negotiated with the Valentirian government to resettle "all incoming refugees to Valentir." After hammering out the details, the agreement was ratified, and the wet foot, dry foot policy was altered so that those who arrived on land would be sent to Valentir. In August 2016, Privitera cut ties with the Mariranan government, and declared the Mariranan National Council to be the "sole legitimate government" of Marirana, as it was "the most viable alternative" to the "oppressive government."

While Edmondo Privitera continued to advocate for policy changes and cooperated extensively with the Democratic Labour Party, he also had to maintain the "separation of the executive and legislative" branches of government, which meant that unlike his tenure as Prime Minister, Privitera played a relatively smaller role in shaping the affairs of day-to-day governmental decisions.

Thus, over the next few years, Edmondo Privitera served primarily as a figurehead, although he frequently travelled abroad to represent Imagua and the Assimas at international events.

At the 2019 leadership convention, Edmondo Privitera was endorsed by the DLP to their nominee for the presidency, while Douglas Egnell was endorsed to be their Prime Ministerial nominee.

Thus, when the writ was dropped on 31 January 2020, Edmondo Privitera waged a spirited campaign against National nominee Cassius Armstrong. During the campaign, Privitera appeared alongside incumbent Prime Minister Douglas Egnell throughout the campaign, and performed well in the debates against Armstrong.

Thus, on 27 March, 2020, Privitera won a second term as President of Imagua. As Egnell managed to maintain a minority government, it marked the first time since 1988 that an incumbent president won a second term without resorting to cohabitation.

Personal life

In 1963, Edmondo Privitera first met the 18-year old Delfina Berenato. Quickly falling in love, they remained in a relationship until they married in November 1967. According to Delfina in 2008, the marriage had been "a happy marriage." In 2018, a minor scandal emerged when it was revealed that they were second cousins, sharing a common great-grandmother.

Together, they have three children: Linda Mortellaro, born in 1968, Leo Privitera, born in 1971, and Cassandra Woods, born in 1973. He is also a grandfather, with four grandchildren: Liam Mortellaro, born in 1996, Berenice Privitera, born in 2001, Antero Privitera, born in 2004, and James Woods, born in 2006.

Political views

Edmondo Privitera for most of his political career was a democratic socialist, as he believed that the economy should be organized on the basis of workers' self-management, and that the capitalist system in place was "fundamentally incompatible with the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity."

However, in the 1990s, following his premiership, Privitera started to shift towards social democracy, as he "learnt that capitalism, while not inherently good in and of itself, is the best system to ensure prosperity among all."

Privitera is supportive of abortion, saying that it should be legal until twenty weeks for any reason, and up until birth for medical reasons for either the fetus or mother, or if the fetus is conceived due to rape.

He is also supportive of same-sex marriage, saying in 2019 that "it is time to step up our game, to legalize same-sex marriage." In addition, he is supportive of the environmental movement, saying that "it is everyone's responsibility to preserve the environment, for no one can be as lucky as Etruria, Estmere, or Xiaodong."

He is also a supporter of free public education, helping oversee the institution of free tuition for domestic universities in 2012, as he believes that free tuition would "counteract the nation's brain drain."

However, Privitera, while supportive of legal immigration, believes that levels should be low, as he has expressed concern many times that immigration was used "only to help the elites in Cuanstad by giving them a cheap source of labour," while giving the employers an excuse to fire Imaguans.

Religion

Edmondo Privitera had been baptized as a Solarian Catholic, and had been a practicing Solarian Catholic during his first tenure as Prime Minister. However, in the 1990s, he became a lapsed Catholic, saying in 2008 that:

"While I still believe in the basic principles of the Church, while I still believe in the Lord and the theology of the Church, I have not been as active in the Church since the mid-1990s, because I have committed all my attention and energy towards improving the lot of the people in this world."

While he still attends Easter and Christmas mass, Privitera otherwise does not attend mass.

Awards and honours

Foreign