The Italian right-wing alliance on Friday chose ex-prime minister and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, 85, as its candidate for the presidency of the Republic. The election is due to start on January 24.
“Coalition leaders have agreed that Silvio Berlusconi is the right person to occupy this high office in this difficult period with the authority and experience that the country deserves that Italians expect,” the coalition’s member parties said in a statement. a joint statement.
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This decision, which is anything but a surprise, was taken during a summit meeting at the Roman home of Silvio Berlusconi, the historic leader of the party he founded in 1994, Forza Italia. In addition to Silvio Berlusconi himself, Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League (sovereign and anti-migrant), and Giorgia Meloni, the boss of Fratelli d’Italia (extreme right), were present.
Despite his recent health problems and his legal setbacks – he is currently involved in two trials in which he is accused of having paid witnesses to lie about his “Bunga Bunga” parties – Silvio Berlusconi, eternal returning from Italian politician, dreams of occupying the Quirinal Palace, the seat of the presidency.
The functions of President of the Italian Republic are largely ceremonial, but prestigious. The current head of government Mario Draghi is given as the favorite even though he is not an official candidate. His election, however, would pose the thorny problem of finding him a successor capable of maintaining the cohesion of the current majority, which is already hue and dia, and could lead to early elections.
“Friend of all, enemy of no one”
“Hero of freedom” who “put an end to the cold war” and “example for all Italians”, Silvio Berlusconi did not do it in the lace Thursday by offering a dithyrambic page to his glory in the daily The newspaper.
A “good and generous” man, “friend of all, enemy of no one”, “a self-made man, an example for all Italians”, lists the newspaper about the ex-prime minister, sentenced in 2013 to a year in prison and six years of ineligibility for tax evasion.
The Italian president is chosen after a series of votes by secret ballot by a thousand electors – senators, deputies and regional elected officials – convened from January 24. The process can take several days.