Rome

M5S says date set for Berlusconi ineligibility vote

Political move comes same day high court weighs berlusconi case

M5S says date set for Berlusconi ineligibility vote

(see related story on Berlusconi) Rome, June 19 - A motion by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) to have ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi declared ineligible for public office could go to a formal vote next month, a lawmaker said Wednesday. The vote on whether Berlusconi's vast media holdings make him ineligible for public office has been scheduled for July 9, said M5S Senator Mario Giarrusso. However, a motion finalizing the date for vote must be formally approved next Tuesday, Giarrusso added. Beppe Grillo, leader of the anti-establishment M5S, has long advocated a vote in parliament on declaring Berlusconi ineligible to take part in public life. "In any democratic country, Berlusconi would be in prison or would have been removed from any public role while here he tips the scale," Grillo once said. The M5S petition regards application of a 1957 law barring the holder of government licenses, like the ones Berlusconi has for his TV networks, from holding public office. The vote may put Premier Enrico Letta's Democratic Party (PD) in a difficult position as it has always bemoaned conflicts between Berlusconi's business interests and his political role, but it has voted against application of the 1957 ineligibility law in the past. The PD's situation is even more delicate at the moment, with Letta relying in the PdL's support to keep his government afloat.

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