Rome: Silvio Berlusconi plans to contest Prime Ministerial elections in Italy for a fourth time next year, according to his close aide.
According to The Telegraph, one of Berlusconi's closest confidantes and most loyal supporters said he thought it was very likely that the three-time prime minister would contest the next election.
"There's a big groundswell of support behind him becoming a candidate," Angelino Alfano, whom Berlusconi anointed as his successor before having to step down late last year, said.
"I believe that he will decide to offer himself for re-election," Alfano, a Sicilian who is chairman of the PDL party, said.
The billionaire businessman believes he has a good chance of winning office, despite all the sex scandals, corruption trials, international gaffes and broken promises to the Italian electorate that have marred his reputation.
"Berlusconi is determined to run again and he believes millions of Italians will vote for him," an insider in Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party said.
The media tycoon was forced to resign in November over criticism of his handling of the economy and amid fears that Italy was being swept up in the euro zone crisis.
Berlusconi is currently on trial in Milan on charges of abuse of office and paying for sex with a teenage erotic dancer whom prosecutors claim was working as an underage prostitute.
First Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 18:13