Italy’s disgraced ex-pm Berlusconi to run in elections

Italy’s disgraced ex-pm Berlusconi to run in elections

Italy s disgraced former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is planning a political comeback in the national elections next month and said he would run as a senator in the ballot on 25 September. That's how everyone would be happy, he told Rai radio. I've been under pressure to do so from many, even outside Forza Italia. Berlusconi, who had three times led the Italian government, was expelled from the senate in 2013 and banned from participating in a general election for six years after a conviction for tax fraud.

His party is part of an alliance that is led by Brothers of Italy, a party with neofascist origins, and includes Matteo Salvini's far-right League.

Antonio Tajani, Forza Italia's deputy leader told Corriere della Sera that every vote for the moderate, trustworthy, pro-European party was useful, as it gave the trio balance. The coalition is projected to win the elections, possibly paving the way for Giorgia Meloni, the Brothers of Italy leader whose motto is God, country and family to become the country's first female prime minister.

In a video message this week directed at international media, Meloni, who started out in politics as a member of the youth wing of the Italian Social Movement, a party headed by a minister in Benito Mussolini s fascist regime and whose tricolored flame forms part of the Brothers of Italy logo, said that she would not be a threat to democracy if victorious.

She said that the Italian right has handed over the history of Fascistism, unambiguously condemning the suppression of democracy and the ignominious anti-Jewish laws.

In January, Berlusconi tried to become Italy's president but bowed out after realising he would not get enough votes from the parliamentarians.