Right-wing wants Berlusconi to be the next president

His party, Forza Italia, has lost a large proportion of its support over the past decade, but Berlusconi is still the party president and is far more influential than the party’s vice-president and former European Parliament president, Antonio Tajani. [EPA-EFE/FABIO FRUSTACI]

League Party leader Matteo Salvini said the right-wing supports the Silvio Berlusconi in the race for the country’s presidency and Mario Draghi should remain prime minister,

A right-wing summit will be held Friday afternoon at Villa Grande, the Roman residence of Silvio Berlusconi. The meeting will take place after late Parliament President David Sassoli’s funeral.

“The right-wing supports Berlusconi; ideological vetoes are not accepted by the left. I hope that neither secretaries nor parties will shirk the competition and responsibility,” Salvini said on Thursday.

Berlusconi has become a reference point for the right since he resigned as PM in 2011 – particularly for the two most prominent right-wing parties in terms of votes: the League party led by Salvini and the Fratelli d’Italia party led by Giorgia Meloni.

His party, Forza Italia, has lost a large proportion of its support over the past decade, but Berlusconi is still the party president and is far more influential than the party’s vice-president and former European Parliament president, Antonio Tajani.

Italy’s president has significant powers, including electing one-third of the Constitutional Court’s judges, calling for new elections, and promulgating all laws.

As a result, a mild-mannered figure who can ensure the balance of power between institutions is often chosen, making the controversial figure of Berlusconi an unlikely choice for the role.

The president needs two-thirds of the vote from the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate, and representatives from Italian regions to be elected.

To date, there has never been a female Italian president.

(Eleonora Vasques | EURACTIV.com)

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