The right-wing coalition in Italy elected this Friday the controversial former prime minister and communications tycoon Silvio Berlusconi as his candidate for the presidency of the Republic.
The decision was announced at the end of a meeting of the leaders of the major right-wing parties, including the far-right League of Matteo Salvini and Brothers of Italy.
The first round for the vote by Parliament for Sergio Mattarella’s successor has been set for next January 24.
“The coalition leaders agreed that Silvio Berlusconi is the right person to fill this high position in such a difficult period, with the authority and experience that the country deserves and that Italians expect,” they said in a joint statement.
The election of Berlusconi, who at 85 dreams of reaching the presidency despite his many legal setbacks and his sexual scandals to the rhythm of bunga bunga, is very uncertain, since in the first four votes two-thirds of the votes are required. voters to take office.
Despite his recent health problems, Silvio Berlusconi dreams of adding a new position to his extensive curriculum, that of head of state.
In Italy, a parliamentary republic, the president primarily occupies a prestigious position, but has the power to dissolve parliament, call early elections and mediate frequent government crises as the sole arbiter.
The outgoing president, Sergio Mattarella, an experienced parliamentarian, ends his term after seven years and was instrumental in imposing the current prime minister, Mario Draghi, as leader of a national unity government last February after the ruling coalition collapsed.
Draghi is considered the favorite for the job even though he is not an official candidate.
However, his election would pose the thorny problem of finding him a successor who has the support of the current majority, which could lead to early elections.
Presented as the “hero of freedom”, who “ended the cold war” and “example for all Italians”, Berlusconi supporters launched an unprecedented campaign for the presidency on Thursday with an advertising page in a national newspaper extols his genius and figure.