Silvio Berlusconi has done it again. The 85-year-old former prime minister has returned to parliament after winning a seat in Italy’s Senate. He does so nine years after being kicked out of Madama Palace for tax evasion.
Berlusconi’s Forza Italia was celebrating Monday after the right-wing coalition led by Giorgia Meloni and her post-fascist Italian Brotherhood party won at the ballot box.
The media mogul, recently dubbed “immortal” for his longevity in politics, has a seat in Monza, Lombardy, where he owns a Serie A football club.
Berlusconi, along with Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, will be one of the key members of the new Italian government currently poised to become the new prime minister. Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP
The billionaire was kicked out of Congress’ Senate in 2013 after being convicted of corporate tax fraud.
It was a big blow for cavalryIt was a political career that marked, in Berlusconi’s words, “a day to mourn for democracy.”
The three-time former prime minister has been ordered to perform community service and barred from holding elected public offices. That ban expired in 2018, but it took Berlusconi a while to regain his luster.
His bid to become Italy’s head of state fell through in January. But in his ninth general election (and possibly his last), Berlusconi bounced back.
He primarily campaigned on social media, garnering over 600,000 followers on TikTok in just one month, and urging young people to vote with his (slightly awkward) grandpa jokes.
In one video that has been viewed more than a million times, he interrupts himself by bragging about killing a giant fly. In another instance, he joked about stealing a young man’s girlfriend.
Berlusconi, who entered politics 28 years ago, said he would become the father of Meloni, 45, and coalition partner Matteo Salvini, 49.
He also said he would be a pro-European voice in what is expected to be Italy’s most right-wing government since World War II.
“I will be head of the government,” Berlusconi said after the vote.
Berlusconi is currently the subject of a criminal trial in which he is charged with paying the starlet to keep his mouth shut about an erotic dinner party. Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP
This is despite a series of health problems, including a fall at the start of the campaign that made it difficult to walk.
Berlusconi is also currently participating in criminal trials,Bunga Bunga‘.
The conservative European People’s Party (EPP), the largest group in the European Parliament, tweeted its congratulations to Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, which secured about 8% of the vote on Sunday.
“We are confident that Forza Italia will lead the incoming government on a path that serves the best interests of the Italian people as part of a strong and stable Europe,” the company said.
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