Rome

Mussolini says won't run in PdL primaries

Duce's granddaughter calls process 'squalid score settling'

Mussolini says won't run in PdL primaries

Rome, November 20 - Italian politician Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, on Tuesday said she would not run in primaries being organized by the center-right People of Freedom (Pdl) party. Mussolini said that the contest for leadership of the party, founded by former premier Silvio Berlusconi, was "the biggest mistake which could be committed on the eve of an electoral campaign". The PdL is set to hold primaries to choose its premier candidate next month. National elections are expected to be held sometime early next spring. The politician said she saw the primary process as a "squalid, internal settling of scores". Under current electoral laws, the leader of the party which wins national elections is likely to be appointed premier by Italy's president. Berlusconi has already said he will sit out elections. "At this point Berlusconi was right regarding this masochistic political instrument," Mussolini told ANSA. "I shall honor myself by not participating". Berlusconi has publicly skirmished with the current party secretary, Angelino Alfano - nominated by Berlusconi himself - over the usefulness of the party primaries. Alfano has insisted that the primaries take place. Mussolini also criticized as "pathetic" those politicians in the PdL who now speak out against the government of Premier Mario Monti despite having supported it so far.

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