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Could Berlusconi become Italy’s new president?

Prior to the presidential election, which is expected to be held next month, current Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Silvio Berlusconi are among the most mentioned possible candidates in the country. The president, who has a 7-year term, is determined by elections attended by members of parliament and regional representatives.

Berlusconi, who has accusations such as “buying senators” for millions of Euros in his political record, seems to have chosen to apply to art this time in search of supporters for the presidency.

According to the Italian press, Berlusconi gave paintings to many people, including ministers, deputies and journalists, for Christmas.

Although it is known to have distributed similar gifts in the past, this year’s Christmas generosity was interpreted in the Italian press as a “support hunt” for the presidential election campaign.

The newspapers La Repubblica and Il Fatto Quotidiano, known for their critical stances against Berlusconi, interpreted the Christmas gifts in the context of the upcoming presidential election. Il Fatto Quotidiano described the gifts as an attempt to “woo prospective voters”.

AGAINST SIGNATURE CAMPAIGN

The newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano started a petition, objecting to Berlusconi’s name being mentioned even for the presidency. Addressing the parliamentarians in the petition, the newspaper said, “We want you not to vote for him or even mention it. If possible, don’t even think about it.”

Reminding the accusations of corruption, mafia, and prostitution involving Berlusconi, the newspaper said, “The President should be the guarantor of the Constitution. Silvio Berlusconi is the guarantor of corruption and prostitution.”

Approximately 200,000 people have supported the petition so far.

BUNGA BUNGA CASE

Berlusconi, against whom numerous lawsuits were filed, received his first final conviction for tax evasion in 2013 and was therefore temporarily suspended from public office. One of the ongoing cases against Berlusconi will be heard on the days when the full presidential election is expected.

The hearing of a lawsuit filed against the 85-year-old former prime minister because of his parties, known as “bunga bunga”, is scheduled for 21 January.

Berlusconi is accused of inciting to false testimony about what happened at these parties, which he describes as “elegant dinners”.

Businessman Gianpaolo Tarantini was sentenced to 2 years and 10 months in prison last October for being responsible for bringing escorts to these parties. Berlusconi is accused of bribing Tarantini to make false statements.

‘PARTY LEADER CANNOT BE PRESIDENT

Come on, an objection to the Chairman of the Italian Party, Berlusconi, came because he was the party leader. Enrico Letta, Secretary General of the centre-left Democratic Party, one of the country’s largest parties, explained the reason for objecting to Berlusconi as follows:

“Looking at the 12 presidents elected to date, it seems that a political leader or president has never been appointed to this post. And this is no coincidence. This task requires a clear institutional sensitivity. We have to keep going.”

Democratic Party leader Letta’s view was also supported by the populist 5 Star Movement. Giuseppe Conte, the leader of the 5 Star Movement, said that they would not support Berlusconi and said, “We will choose a person who will represent and guarantee national unity.”

The Italian press wrote that Conte wanted a woman who had held high-level corporate positions to be elected president, and that she was preparing to meet with other parties for this.

To date, only men have been elected to the post of president or prime minister in Italy.

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