Silvio Berlusconi to run for Italian Senate

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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday morning he was planning to run for the Senate in Italy’s upcoming general election.

“I think I’ll run for the Senate, so we’ll make everyone happy, after receiving pressure from so many, even outside Forza Italia,” the 85-year-old Berlusconi, who leads the center-right party Forza Italia, said on Rai Radio 1 station.

Italy is holding snap elections following the surprise collapse of Mario Draghi’s government in July. After three parties in his coalition — Giuseppe Conte’s populist 5Star Movement, Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League — withdrew their support, Draghi resigned and President Sergio Matteralla called general elections for September 25.

Berlusconi, Italy’s longest-serving prime minister, was a senator only briefly in 2013, before being barred from holding office after receiving a four-year sentence for tax fraud. But in 2018 a court lifted the ban, allowing the octogenarian media tycoon to run again for office. He has been an MEP since 2019.

His party is running in coalition with two right-wing parties, Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, which is leading in the polls, and Salvini’s League. Together, the three are slated to win by a comfortable margin, according to POLITICO’s Poll of Polls.

Regarding the coalition’s candidate for prime minister, Berlusconi said: “We have always said that whoever has the most votes will be proposed to the head of state as the candidate-premier. If it is Giorgia Meloni I am sure that she will prove adequate for the difficult task.”