Berlusconi withdraws bid to be elected President of Italy

Rome — Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday resigned from Italy’s presidential election scheduled for next week, but claimed he had nailed enough voters to become head of state.

Berlusconi, 85, said in a statement that he chose to “take a new step on the path of state responsibility” after many reflections. Media tycoons have asked his supporters not to vote for him.

Berlusconi, a lightning rod for political protests that survived the sex scandal and tax evasion convictions, said he didn’t want his name to cause “controversy and lacerations” that pandemics wouldn’t allow.

The prospect of him winning a seven-year term as president is in a position to provide the country with a kind of moral compass and to represent the unity of the country, which has already triggered protests in Rome earlier this month. rice field.

Parliamentarians and special local voters are expected to start a secret ballot on Monday to elect the next president of Italy.

Berlusconi will continue to be the leader of the centre-right Forza Italia, which he founded 30 years ago, ensuring that the special president’s “major elector” has “a vast consensus in parliament.” He said he would try to do it.

He also claimed that Prime Minister Mario Draghi would be in office. The former head of the European Central Bank, who heads the unified pandemic government, has indicated that he is interested in becoming the successor to President Sergio Mattarella, whose term expires on February 3.

Given the hundreds of votes Berlusconi and his right-wing allies can order in Congress, Berlusconi’s claim that Draghi will stay at the Prime Minister’s Office is believed to have helped save euro currency and become president. It can complicate the quest by existing economists.

For weeks, Berlusconi sought out his own conservative allies and members of the centrist regime to see if he had enough support to be elected.

The central right-wing parliament, including a party led by anti-immigrant leader Matteo Salvini and supporter of the far-right nationalist Giorgia Meloni, is urging Berlusconi to seek the president as an opportunity to win enough votes in the elections. rice field. The fourth round looked uncertain.

The first three rounds require a two-thirds majority, and given that no party occupies such a large margin, it is unlikely that a winner will appear early. The fourth round requires a simple majority.

Past presidential elections have been going on for days before winning.

By Frances D’emilio

Associated Press