Italy's Berlusconi confirms new bid for PM
Rome: A day after the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s party gave strong indications that he will run for office again next year, the announcement was confirmed by him on Saturday, while ending weeks of speculation.
Yesterday, the People of Freedom (PDL) party had cancelled its leadership primary and a senior figure said Berlusconi would run for PM again.
According to the report, Berlusconi himself also said on Wednesday that he was being ‘assailed by requests’ to return to politics.
"I am running to win," 76-year-old Berlusconi told journalists in Milan.
According to an agency’s report, he had called a meeting of the PDL for tomorrow and had opened talks with his former coalition allies the Northern League to try to agree on a joint campaign backing a single candidate, he added.
A general election is expected to be held in March or April of next year but the precise date has not been set, nor is there any agreement on a reform of an election law widely seen as unsatisfactory.
In October, he had said that he would not run again for the premiership. Berlusconi resigned in 2011 over Italy's economic troubles and was convicted of tax fraud in October of this year. He has already served as Italy's prime minister for three separate terms and built up what is believed to be a vast personal fortune from his business empire, the report said.
Prime Minister Mario Monti replaced Berlusconi as prime minster just over a year ago, and launched a programme of reforms aimed at pulling Italy out of economic crisis.