Berlusconi faces the loss of his seat after the country's highest court upheld his conviction on tax fraud charges in August. Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom party, or PdL, remains in a tenuous power-sharing agreement with the center-left Democratic Party.
The Democrats, led by Prime Minister Enrico Letta, have led the effort to oust Berlusconi and called for a public vote this month to kick him out. Typically such votes are done in secret but Letta's party said an open vote was necessary to prevent the wealthy Berlusconi, 77, from cutting deals to preserve his seat, ANSA news agency reported Saturday.
Berlusconi said he will remain active in Italian politics and advocate for lower taxes and fewer regulations, even if he is ousted, but he said the final verdict is up to the voters.
"I think it's right that the voters are the ones who judge us on everything, including my case, taxes, the economy and other reform programs, and our opponents, who, if they continue like this, will live up to their reputation of being the party of taxes and handcuffs," he said.
Berlusconi faces expulsion due to his 2012 conviction on tax fraud charges. He's also been convicted of publishing an illegal wiretap and soliciting a minor for sex during one of his now-infamous "bunga bunga" parties. Those convictions are being appealed.
He's also been indicted for allegedly bribing a senator to switch political parties.
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