Tripoli

Bersani 'can't wait' to face Berlusconi in Italian elections

Ex-premier is considering running for fourth term

Bersani 'can't wait' to face Berlusconi in Italian elections

Tripoli, December 4 - Democratic Party (PD) leader Pier Luigi Bersani said Tuesday that he is relishing the prospect of taking on ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi in next spring's national elections in Italy. Bersani was chosen as the centre left's premier candidate when he won a primary last weekend and he is favourite to triumph at the elections with the PD enjoying a significant lead in the polls. Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party is in a state of confusion as its premier candidate is still not known just months before the vote. The party was meant to hold a primary on December 16 but this looks likely to be scrapped after Berlusconi said he was considering coming out of political retirement and standing for a fourth term as Italian premier. "If that's the challenge, we'll take it on," Bersani told reporters during a visit to Tripoli when asked about the possibility Berlusconi will be his opponent. "I can't wait". A series of corruption scandals affecting top centre-right politicians in Rome and Milan have contributed to the PdL, which is the biggest party in parliament at the moment, dropping to third in the opinion polls. But the party has also been suffering from a vacuum of leadership since Berlusconi stepped back from the front line. The PdL has been overtaken in the polls by comedian Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which is against the current party system and wants Italy to have a referendum on whether to keep the euro as its currency.

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