Silvio Berlusconi 'quietly campaigning' to be Italy's next president

Silvio Berlusconi 'quietly campaigning' to be Italy's next president
Silvio Berlusconi 'quietly campaigning' to be Italy's next president

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been tipped to make one more run to be Italy's next president.

The 85-year-old media tycoon, infamous for his 'bunga bunga' sex parties, remains Italy's longest serving post war leader, having been in office three times.

Despite regular brushes with the law - including being convicted of tax fraud in 2013 - and a number of health concerns, he has previously been referred to as 'the immortal' for his longevity in politics.

And now, those within his centre-right Forza Italia party, which he led for more than two decades, are tipping him to make one final run for the top job.

Antonio Tajani, the deputy leader of the party told the Sunday Telegraph: 'It would be a dream.

'A lot of us have asked him [to run]. When you bring up the subject with him, he just smiles.'

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been tipped to make one more run to be Italy's next president

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been tipped to make one more run to be Italy's next president

Now self-referred to as the elder statesman within Italy's Right-wing bloc, Berlusconi has not officially entered the race but is reportedly campaigning behind the scenes.

The right-wing bloc, which consists of Forza Italia, Matteo Salvini's Northern League and Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy are expected to back him if he were to officially enter the race.

A former crooner turned property and media magnate, Berlusconi was Italian prime minister on three occasions between 1994 and 2011.

Silvio Berlusconi's political career and scandals 

The former owner of AC Milan, who made his media fortune in the 1960s, entered politics in early 1994 and served three separate terms as the Italian prime minister up to 2011.

He has been embroiled in countless investigations over the course of his career and has been convicted of tax fraud, but has also been accused of many other crimes including embezzlement, bribery, abuse of office and child prostitution.

Despite the investigations, Berlusconi was elected back into parliament in 2019, further prolonging his decades-long career in Italian politics.

Berlusconi has also had a string of health issues in the past two decades.

In late 2006 he was admitted to hospital with a minor heart problem after fainting, and underwent heart surgery in a US hospital in January 2007.

He later had major heart surgery in 2016 and has also survived prostate cancer, which he revealed in 2000 after having endured the disease for three years.

At the time he described his cancer battle as 'a nightmare lasting months', but said his battle with coronavirus last September had been the 'most dangerous challenge' of his life. 

The former Prime Minister was previously convicted of paying £6 million to underage Moroccan prostitute Karima El Mahroug, also known as 'Ruby the heart-stealer' for sexual services between February and May 2010, but was later found not guilty on appeal.

However, he was then put on trial again on suspicion he had bribed defence witnesses, with one trial ending in an acquittal in October and two others are still pending.

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No stranger to controversy, Berlusconi, who once infamously called former US president Barack Obama 'suntanned', survived a public scandal over the 'bunga bunga' sex parties at his private villa where women would strip after there were allegations that some of the

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