A Princess for the people by the people
On Sunday, October 27, 2019, the two final candidates for the election of Princess of the charming Principality of Seborga met the citizens and the press in the Piazza Della Liberta, presenting their campaign platforms. The election itself will take place this coming Sunday, November 10, 2019, for a 7-years mandate.
Seborga is only 45 min by car from Monaco, so it was a great opportunity to pay a visit on a beautiful sunny day, enjoy a delicious lunch at their local Restaurant Marcellino, and meet the candidates in the square in the afternoon.
Meet the candidates
Nina Menegatto, wife of the abdicating Prince Marcello Menegatto, and currently Counselor of Foreign Affairs, has been a Monaco resident since she was 22 years old and graduated with an MBA from the International University of Monaco.
Nina came very well prepared presenting the Press and Seborgans with a complete dossier detailing her plans for the Principality if winning the election.
She is committed to working on several important points: 1) Reform the statutes to improve the cohesion in the Government; 2) Organize a census of the population and digitalize the register; 3) Support tourism and local commerce by increasing collaboration in the community and promotion of folklore initiatives; 4) Make Seborga known abroad; 5) Reaffirm the independence of the Principality; 6) Use the attraction of sports; 7) Pacify the chevaliers association; 8) Resolve the problem of economic self-sufficiency by launching an online boutique; 9) Provide a public forum; and 10) Develop a project to create a new hotel.
Laura Di Bisceglie, daughter of Giorgio Carbone the first self proclaimed Prince of Seborga, summarized her actions by her wish to promote the Principality’s history and culture. She promised to do her utmost to strive for the recognition of her legitimacy as daughter of the first sovereign, favor art events, and tourism by all means, including obtaining documents that attest to the religious sovereignty of the Principality.
Let the best woman win!
A little bit of history
The Principality of Seborga is a micronation that claims a 14km2 area located in the northwestern Italian province of Imperia in Liguria, near the French border, and about 35 kilometers from Monaco. The Principality is in coexistence with and claims the territory of the town of Seborga. The official language is Italian, and their de facto currency is the Euro, as well as the Seborga luigino (de Jure). As of January 2019, Seborga had a population of 294 people.
Their history goes back to 1963 when a Seborgan named Giorgio Carbone, claimed (based on documents from the Vatican archives) that during the Middle Ages the town had become part of the feudal holdings of the Counts of Ventimiglia, he insisted that in the year 954, Seborga became the property of the Benedictine Monks of Santo Onorato of Lerins. In 1079 the Abbot of this monastery was made a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, with temporal authority over the Principality of Seborga.
Allegedly, on January 20, 1729, this independent Principality was sold to the Savoy dynasty becoming their protectorate. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna overlooked Seborga in its redistribution of European territories after the Napoleonic Wars, and there is no mention of Seborga in the Act of Unification for the Kingdom of Italy in 1861; the Unification of Italy in 1861 and the founding of the Italian Republic in 1946 would, therefore, be illegitimate and unilateral acts because they violate the legitimate sovereignty of the people of Seborga. The exile of the Savoy, in 1946, also involved the end of ius patronatus.
The argument for Seborga’s present-day status as an independent state is based on the claim that the 1729 sale was never registered by its new owners, resulting in the Principality falling into what could be described as a legal limbo.
Prince Giorgio I reined until his death on November 25, 2009, and his successor Marcello Menegatto was elected on April 25, 2010, and crowned on May 22, 2010, as His Serene Highness Marcello. The monarch’s position is not hereditary, and elections are held in Seborga every seven years. Prince Marcello was re-elected in April 2017 and took office for another seven years, but he abdicated on April 12, 2019, reason for the upcoming elections.
According to Seborga’s constitution, the reigning monarch has to rule under advisement by his Crown Council, the executive in the Principality, composed of five members elected by the citizens of Seborga plus others named by the Prince or Princess itself.
“Voting is how we participate in civil society, be it for president, be it for a municipal election. It is the way we teach our children, in school elections, how to be citizens, and the importance of their voice.” Loretta Lynch