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Berlusconi says he would support center-left candidate to end deadlock

April 12, 2013 at 4:26 PM
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ROME, April 12 (UPI) -- Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi says he may back a Democratic Party presidential candidate if the center-left party teams up with his party.

Italy has been in a political deadlock since the country's general election in February, during which the Democratic Party secured more seats in Italy's parliament than Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom party, but did not win a working majority, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

Berlusconi has previously reached out to PD head Pier Luigi Bersani about forming a broad coalition but Bersani has refused and in turn tried to build a partnership with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement party.

Now, Berlusconi says he would consider backing a PD candidate for president if the center-right party joins a coalition with his party. President Giorgio Napolitano's seven-year term ends next month.

"We are certainly ready to discuss it," Berlusconi said in an interview published in Friday's edition of Rome-based daily La Repubblica when questioned about whether he would support a center-left candidate.

"But when we spoke to the [PD] secretary [Bersani], we did not name any names," Berlusconi said. "But if we agree on a road for the Quirinale [presidential palace], on the other hand we also have to find a agreement for a broad coalition executive with ministers chosen together. Otherwise nothing."

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