Silvio Berlusconi has been endorsed by the centre-right party as the next president of Italy, but could he really achieve that?
Former Italian leaders are unlikely to be elected head of state. Mostly ceremonial positions are usually held by a unified person who is primarily seen as being on top of a political conflict.
Many commentators say Berlusconi’s career (tax evasion and his belief in the “Bunga Bunga” sex party) makes him far from an ideal candidate.
And he is facing a difficult battle as he is trying to get enough support.
The 85-year-old billionaire media tycoon, who served as prime minister for four terms, became an official candidate for Italy’s Central Right Alliance after meeting at his Roman villa on Friday night.
“The leaders of the coalition agreed that Silvio Berlusconi was the right person to serve as this official during these difficult times,” the joint statement said.
The meeting included Matteo Salvini’s league party. Far-right Italian brothers led by Giorgia Meloni. Berlusconi’s own Forza Italia.
Centre-rights have said they will seek his widespread support in parliament, but Berlusconi appears to lack the broad support needed to elect the president.
Many other parties that he needs to get support to reach a qualified majority are against him.
Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party has categorically ruled out its support for Berlusconi’s role.
He said he was “disappointed and worried” about the centre-right decision.
The anti-system Five Star Movement, which has the largest number of parliamentarians, says it cannot support Mr. Berlusconi.
“The centre-right shouldn’t interfere with Italy. There are countries here that demand suffering and answers. Don’t play games at the expense of family or business,” said former Prime Minister and five-star leader. Giuseppe Conte said.
Who else is running?
The current Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the former governor of the widely respected European Central Bank, is another candidate for this role.
People with less division than Mr. Berlusconi, such as Speaker of the House Pierre Ferdinand Casini, are touted.
Voting in Congress begins on January 24th. This is a secret ballot of about 1,000 parliamentarians and regional representatives.
Scandals such as “Bunga Bunga”
Ms. Berlusconi campaigned behind the scenes, persuaded lawmakers to vote for him, and mobilized his media behind his efforts.
However, he is a diplomatic figure with non-diplomatic comments, controversial remarks, and records of dissatisfaction.
Berlusconi has been plagued by sex scandals since the news of his now infamous “Bunga Bunga” party appeared more than a decade ago.
The scandal brought Italy a global ridicule and undermined its international reputation.
He is facing a trial related to a minor prostitution scandal for bribeing witnesses. He denies the charges.
Since entering politics in the mid-’90s, he has also faced allegations and criticisms of conflicting interests in using his media to promote his political career.
Berlusconi has always denied what was wrong, claiming he was persecuted for political reasons.
Whatever the odds, he remains unwavering.
This week, a family-owned newspaper published a full-page ad titled “Who is Silvio Berlusconi … Who is better than him?”
It featured a photograph of the former Prime Minister decades ago and a list of his features and possible achievements.
Its qualities include being “a good and generous person,” “a friend of all, not an enemy of anyone,” and “a self-made person who is an example of all Italians.”
Silvio Berlusconi: Can the controversial leader really become the next President of Italy? | World News
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