Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
ROME

Berlusconi bid to keep Senate seat not predetermined

English
© ANSA

Rome, August 16 - Further study is needed before
any vote on ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's likely bid to retain
his Senate seat, Gaetano Quagliariello said Friday.
"I think there are many things to clarify and deepen, and I
think it is in everyone's interest to do so," the constitutional
reform minister said in an interview with ANSA.
Berlusconi's seat is under threat since Italy's highest
appeal court has upheld his criminal fraud conviction.
The situation does not have "predetermined outcomes" added
the minister, and must be closely studied because of its
political sensitivity and consequences.
Italy's fragile coalition government has been threatened by
political fighting over the recent court decision over
Berlusconi's fraud conviction.
Some members of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) say
they cannot work with a party led by a convicted criminal, while
members of Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party want broad
government support in forcing a pardon for Berlusconi and
protection of his Senate seat.
The Senate is scheduled to vote in September on whether to
uphold a six-year ban from office for the 76-year-old tycoon,
who received his first definitive criminal conviction from the
supreme Cassation Court earlier this month for fraud at his
Mediaset media empire.
The ruling came with a four-year jail term, commuted to one
year of community service or house arrest due to an amnesty.
Berlusconi has until October to decide how to spend the
year.
Meanwhile, President Giorgio Napolitano's urging that
Italy's fragile coalition government hold itself together is not
sufficient, in itself, to achieve that end, said Quagliariello.
Instead, the government led by Premier Enrico Letta must
find a way to protect and defend itself, he added.
"It must itself ensure its own survival," said
Quagliariello, a prominent member of the PdL.
That means members of different political parties within
government must find ways to work together.

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