WSJ assessed the chances of Silvio Berlusconi to become the new president of Italy According to the adviser, Berlusconi will decide by mid-January whether he will run for the presidency. Analysts doubted the likelihood of his election success
Victory of the former Prime Minister of Italy, leader of the Forward Italy! party; Silvio Berlusconi in the first three rounds of the presidential election is extremely unlikely, the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal estimated. For this, the politician will need the support of the center-left opposition to him, the publication points out.
The term of office of the incumbent head of state, Sergio Mattarella, expires in February. The Italian President is elected by secret ballot for a seven-year term by an electoral college consisting of members of both houses of parliament and representatives of the regions. In the first three rounds of voting, two-thirds of the votes are required to be elected. Analysts believe that the only one who has a chance to get such a majority is & mdash; current prime minister Mario Draghi. To win in the fourth and subsequent rounds, 50% plus one vote is enough. Berlusconi will have such an opportunity, writes The Wall Street Journal, but Draghi's chances will also increase. The first round of voting is expected at the end of January.
According to the newspaper, the leaders of the Brothers of Italy parties are ready to support Berlusconi. and 'League of the North' George Meloni and Matteo Salvini, but some of their representatives may vote for other candidates due to inter-party differences.
Berlusconi did not officially announce his intention to run for president, but the media began to make such assumptions on the eve of the elections. So, in early December, the British edition of The Guardian, citing representatives of his party, wrote that the ex-prime minister was “ definitely inspired '' on this account. At the same time, Berlusconi's advisor told The Wall Street Journal that he would finally decide whether to run for office in mid-January.
Draghi said in December that the government would cope without him as prime minister. This statement was interpreted as an allusion to the politician's presidential ambitions, the newspaper notes.
Doubts that Berlusconi will be able to win the presidential election, expressed some experts. “I don’t believe that Berlusconi will succeed, but it’s hard to guess with him, because he refutes all predictions,” “& mdash; said Daniel Albertazzi, professor at the University of Surrey in the UK. In his opinion, regardless of the outcome of the elections, the politician will continue his career. 'The end will come when Berlusconi is underground', & mdash; believes Albertazzi.
Paolo Natale, a professor at the University of Milan, believes that his own media could become an obstacle to the presidency for Berlusconi. “ All these media assets for his family brought all kinds of difficulties when he was prime minister, but for the president such investments will be beyond acceptability, '' & mdash; he said.
Berlusconi is 85 years old. He served as Chairman of the Italian Council of Ministers from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006 and 2008 to 2011. In 2019, he became a member of the European Parliament.
As The Wall Street Journal notes, the ex-prime minister has appeared before the court more than 70 times, and is still being charged in several cases. In particular, the politician was suspected of tax crimes, corruption, connections with the mafia and even sexual relations with a minor.
Recently, Berlusconi has been experiencing health problems, over the past year he was hospitalized several times.
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