Berlusconi’s party urges his return for 2013 vote

Parliamentary elections scheduled by next spring

Berlusconi’s party urges his return for 2013 vote

(ANSA) - Rome, August 2 - Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party is urging him to shelf reservations to run in next year's legislative elections. On Thursday, current PdL leader Angelino Alfano admitted that inside the party there is a "feeling of insistence for Berlusconi to announce that he will lead the party's list and for a new season of premiership". He hasn't yet decided, but we are counting on his sense of responsibility and love for Italy," said Alfano while talking on Radio Anch'io. Italy is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections by next spring at the latest. After resigning last year, Berlusconi had said that he would not lead the PdL again nor seek the premiership. However as the technocrat government led by Premier Mario Monti has become increasingly unpopular due to the austerity measures it has imposed on Italians. Berlusconi has flip-flopped on whether to attempt a return to the apex of Italian political life. Angelino Alfano, Berlusconi's hand-picked dauphin, took over the party leadership but has never said whether he would seek the premiership. On Thursday Alfano stepped back from reinforcing his claim to lead the PdL - a party founded by Berlusconi - suggesting that there would be no leadership contest should Berlusconi decide to return. "We won't hold any [party] primaries," because they would be "superfluous" in case Berlusconi were to return. Rather, primaries would seem "hypocritical," Alfano said. In his remarks to Radio Anch'Io, Alfano also said he hopes the PdL will win enough seats to govern by itself, without any allies.

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