Berlusconi's Political Comeback Begins

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 04:07

Following a poll indicating that the People of Freedom Party (PDL) would gain three times as many votes if headed by former PM Silvio Berlusconi, the PdL has unofficially put Berlusconi's name in the running for the 2013 premier race.

A poll from Euromedia Research, which Berlusconi commissioned in February to monitor Italian voting preferences, predicted that the PDL would barely garner 10 per cent of the vote without Berlusconi, but with him on the ticket as prime minister, they stand to win 28 per cent of the vote.

Last July, Berlusconi told La Repubblica that he would "definitely not" run for re-election, but many within the PDL see the party's poor performance in the recent municipal elections as a sign that the party may need Berlusconi's charisma and media budget to maintain their footing in the elections. He was rumoured to be making the official announcement at a political meeting in Rome on Friday, but he pulled out of the event at the last minute due to an unspecified commitment.

Angelino Alfano, Berlusconi's political heir apparent and the current head of the PDL, expressed his support for the former premier's candidacy over Twitter, but a Berlusconi staffer hinted to the New York Times that Berlusconi may go for a different position, depending on political alliances. Political commentators had previously predicted that he might angle for the Italian presidency.

On Tuesday, Mario Monti, the non-elected prime minister currently heading the technocratic government, stated clearly that he would not run in the April 2013 elections.