Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi pulls out of presidential race

23/1/2022 12:48:00 AM

Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi pulls out of presidential race

insisted he had the support in parliament to win - something analysts doubted.But in a statement issued to the media, he said he was withdrawing in the spirit of"national responsibility", to avoid further controversy.Draghi, a former European Central Bank chief who has led Italy's coalition government for the past year, remains the favourite to be elected head of state next week.

The governing parties, which range from left to right, including Berlusconi's Forza Italia, have however yet to reach a deal - and with voting secret, the result is notoriously hard to predict.More than 1,000 MPs, senators and regional representatives will begin voting Monday, with several rounds - each taking a day - expected before a result.

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still embroiled in legal proceedings over his infamous"Bunga Bunga" sex parties, insisted he had the support in parliament to win - something analysts doubted.LinkedIn PARIS: A French court on Friday (Jan 21) sentenced two one-time aides to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy to jail for their role in the misuse of public funds to finance opinion poll contracts.LinkedIn MELBOURNE: Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka turned back the clock to crush former world number four Elina Svitolina 6-0, 6-2 in a blistering display on Friday (Jan 21).LinkedIn KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian media reported on Saturday (Jan 22) that former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has been readmitted to the National Heart Institute (IJN).

But in a statement issued to the media, he said he was withdrawing in the spirit of"national responsibility", to avoid further controversy. Draghi, a former European Central Bank chief who has led Italy's coalition government for the past year, remains the favourite to be elected head of state next week.5 million euros ($8. The governing parties, which range from left to right, including Berlusconi's Forza Italia, have however yet to reach a deal - and with voting secret, the result is notoriously hard to predict. "I felt like I played really well tactically and not really let her into the game," she said. More than 1,000 MPs, senators and regional representatives will begin voting Monday, with several rounds - each taking a day - expected before a result. On Friday, the court convicted his former chief of staff Claude Gueant of cronyism, sentencing the top aide to eight months in jail. Indicating he hopes to play the kingmaker, Berlusconi said he would work with his right-wing allies to agree a candidate that can summon a"broad consensus" - but made clear it should not be Draghi. According to the Bernama news agency, several journalists have gathered outside the IJN to follow developments on the health status of the Langkawi member of parliament.

He said the premier should stay to help implement structural reforms promised in return for almost 200 billion euros in European Union funds, on which Italy is relying for its post-virus recovery. They had denied any wrongdoing. Under hot sun on Rod Laver Arena, she came flying out of the blocks, breaking the Ukrainian in the first game and never looked back, forcing a slew of unforced errors from her opponent. "I consider it necessary for the Draghi government to complete its work until the end of the legislature," in 2023, when the next general election is due, Berlusconi said. 'Italy needs unity' Many analysts also worry Draghi's departure would spark a crisis in the government and that debt-laden Italy would slip behind on a tight schedule to implement reforms to the tax and justice systems and public administration. Prosecutors said the contracts signed by Sarkozy’s staff during his 2007-2012 term in office were sealed in secret and without competition - breaking French laws on public financing that require transparency and competitive bidding. However, others say Draghi would be better placed as president to ensure political stability and good relations with Brussels - particularly should the far-right win the next general election. While a largely ceremonial role, the president wields considerable power in times of political crises, from dissolving parliament to picking new prime ministers and denying mandates to fragile coalitions. Sarkozy lost presidential immunity from legal prosecution a month after he left office and has since faced investigations into alleged corruption, fraud, favouritism and campaign-funding irregularities. IJN later said on Jan 13 that Dr Mahathir had been discharged and would continue his recuperation and recovery at home.

More On This Topic Italy's Berlusconi says early elections would be 'irresponsible' Berlusconi announced his decision at a virtual meeting with Matteo Salvini of the anti-immigration League party and Giorgia Meloni of the far-right Brothers of Italy. He noted the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, saying:"Today, Italy needs unity. Source: Reuters... I will continue to serve my country in other ways.

" Salvini praised his"generous" decision which he said enabled them to propose candidates"without any more vetoes from the left". Enrico Letta, leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, said the withdrawal had exposed a split in the right over Berlusconi's candidacy, adding:"Now we need a high-level agreement over a shared name and a legislative pact." In the first three rounds, the winning candidate must secure two-thirds of the vote. From the fourth round, they only need an absolute majority. More On This Topic .