August 13, 2022

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There's Berlusconi again, and now he wants to be president

There’s Berlusconi again, and now he wants to be president

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wants to run for Italy’s presidency in January. It is highly unlikely that he will win, but opponents are not reassured. One newspaper even started a petition to remove Berlusconi from the presidential palace.

Berlusconi is 85 years old and close to countless scandals, lawsuits and health problems, but that depends. the Knight He does not want to realize his ultimate dream: the presidency of the Italian Republic.

At the end of January, after seven years, the reign of President Sergio Mattarella (80) will come to an end. While many Italians would like to see the quiet lawman in the mansion on Quirinal Hill anymore, Mattarella doesn’t feel like a second term, even as a temporary bridging element. This is why the expanded parliament (the House of Representatives, the Senate and regional representatives) will elect a new head of state in January.

speculation

The speculation machine is already running full speed in the media. Prime Minister Mario Draghi is the likely successor to Mattarella, but he himself remains ambiguous about his presidential ambitions. If he leaves office, the government may be in danger like this.

The only official requirements for the president are Italian citizenship, possession of political and civil rights and age over 50. Lots of room for wild suggestions. This is how the newspaper began daily fact Campaign to elect Liliana will be president. The 91-year-old activist and Holocaust survivor is a senator for life, but said she has no other political ambitions.

after was Truth He hasn’t finished his business press after that, especially when Berlusconi put his head around the corner. The former prime minister is the enemy of the newspaper, which was founded in 2009 by investigative and perspective journalist Marco Travalho. Travalho previously wrote the book with a colleague the smell of money (2001), in which they investigated the questionable origin of Silvio Berlusconi’s fortune.

Berlusconi sued the book for defamation at the time, but lost the case. For Marco Travalho, the idea of ​​Berlusconi as head of state is so intolerable that he Truth Opening an online petition under the slogan “Berlusconi’s Het Quirinaalpaleis? no thanks“.

Corruption and prostitution

“The president of the republic must guarantee the constitution,” Travalho and his colleagues wrote. “Silvio Berlusconi guarantees corruption and prostitution and has violated the constitution before and after his entry into politics.” At the beginning of this week, the number of signatories on the counter reached 150,000.

At the same time, the right-wing newspaper launched a counter-action free. This is the slogan “No to those who want to steal the Quirinale Palace from us.” It is not clear what the petition, which has signed about eight thousand times, aims at. “The right is free to choose its candidate” – a fact no one in Italy disputes – but the measure does not necessarily promote Berlusconi as president, says editor-in-chief Alessandro Salusti.

He’s unlikely to do that anyway. Berlusconi will need the full support of all right-wing parties – which he does not have – as well as quite a few members of parliament from the left. But according to the center left Republic Does he achieve his goal, thanks in part to Truth, already checked: “Berlusconi wants attention. You also have to earn heavy criticism, and his old comrades allow him to prove that he does. The only real death sentence is silence.”

Rosa Van Goul Correspondent in Rome.

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