Nilde Iotti

Leonilde Iotti
President of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
20 June 1979  22 April 1992
President Sandro Pertini
Francesco Cossiga
Preceded by Pietro Ingrao
Succeeded by Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
Personal details
Born 10 April 1920
Reggio Emilia, Italy
Died 4 December 1999(1999-12-04) (aged 79)
Rome, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party PCI (1943–1991)
PDS (1991–1998)
Domestic partner Palmiro Togliatti
Alma mater Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Profession Politician
Religion Atheist
Website Nilde Iotti Foundation

Leonilde Iotti, commonly known as Nilde Iotti (Italian pronunciation: [ˈnilde ˈjɔtti]; 10 April 1920 – 4 December 1999) was an Italian politician of the Communist Party, the first woman to become president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies for three consecutive legislatures from 1979 to 1992.

Early life

Born in Reggio Emilia, she took part in the resistance movement against the Nazi German invaders during World War II. After the end of the war and the referendum against the Savoy Monarchy, in 1946, she was member of the Constituent Chamber, and one of the 75 members of the Committee entrusted with the drafting of the Italian Republican Constitution (see: Birth of the Italian Republic).

President of the Chamber of Deputies Leonilde Iotti together with President Sandro Pertini.

Political Career

In April 1948 Iotti was elected on the ticket of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) to the Chamber of Deputies, of which she was member without interruption until 1999. Iotti had a long liaison with the National Secretary of the PCI Palmiro Togliatti, one which lasted until the latter's death in 1964: the relationship was made public in 1948, on the occasion of the attempt on Togliatti's life, a few days after the Italian general election day, and was received coldly by Italy's public opinion, including many Italian communists, because Togliatti was married to Rita Montagnana at the time.

After 1979 elections, Iotti became Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, succeeding to Pietro Ingrao. She was popular and respected as a president, and was confirmed in the office for two more legislatures. In 1987, she was entrusted by President Francesco Cossiga with a mandate of potentially forming the government, the closest a PCI member, and a woman, got to becoming the first female Prime Minister of Italy; however, Iotti was not able to form a coalition.

In 1992, the name of Nilde Iotti was mentioned for the election of the President of the Italian Republic.


She was an atheist.[1]


She died in Rome in 1999.


Political offices
Preceded by
Pietro Ingrao
President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies
Succeeded by
Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
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