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Campaign seeks Berlusconi return to office

Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:39 PM

ROME, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Friday officially opened his coalition's election as he attempts to regain his lost office.

Berlusconi was forced from office in November 2011 by the government of Mario Monti.

''We are gathered here for the first time with 30 days left to fight for a result that would allow us to spare the country an illiberal future,'' Berlusconi told candidates at his People of Freedom Party convention in Rome, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

Italy's general elections are set for Feb. 24-25.

Berlusconi, a three-time prime minister, told members of his center-right coalition, which includes the regionalist Northern League, they had all the elements for victory.

A poll released Friday indicated the coalition was behind its center-left rivals, 34.1 percent to 26.6 percent.

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