Rome

Bossi says Berlusconi's political career is not over

Northern League founder tips Marina Berlusconi as leader

Bossi says Berlusconi's political career is not over

Rome, August 13 - The founder of the Northern League party on Tuesday said the political career of three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi is not over after a supreme court conviction for tax fraud. "I don't think it's the end for Berlusconi", Umberto Bossi told ANSA of his former government coalition partner. In the interview, Bossi also welcomed the idea of having Berlusconi's oldest daughter Marina become the leader of his People of Freedom Party (PdL). "She could take over and the fact that she is a woman is an advantage", said Bossi. The 46-year-old chairwoman of the Berlusconi family holding company Fininvest has been tipped as a successor ever since the Cassation upheld a four-year jail term for Berlusconi - cut to one by an amnesty - and sent back to a Milan appeals court a five-year ban on holding public office, which is likely to be reinstated in a shorter form. However, the sentence triggered a recent automatic six-year ban and the Senate will vote in a few weeks on ejecting Berlusconi amid PdL calls for a pardon. Berlusconi's conviction for tax fraud on film rights at the ex-premier's Mediaset empire was his first-ever definitive conviction in years of legal cases that range from charges of abuse of office and judge bribing to paying an underage prostitute for sex. Speaking about the future of the anti-immigration party which he spearheaded until a political corruption scandal over the alleged funneling of millions of euros of public funding into private accounts forced him to resign last year, Bossi said he had "invested very much" in the Northern League. "My political inheritance, perhaps, is having paved the way for the idea that things can be changed", Bossi said.

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