Although the disgraced former Prime Minister is making a political comeback, he has been banned by the Senate from holding public office due to a tax fraud conviction in 2013.
Berlusconi, 81, is now asking the European Court of Human Right to overturn the ban, although the verdict is unlikely to come before the Italian election in March.
He has now suggested that he would be ready to return to the premier’s office again if the ban is lifted and his coalition manages to win the election.
“I would have a duty … if a ruling were to arrive from Strasbourg that reversed the Senate’s decision to expel me, I don’t think I could refuse,” he told La7 TV.
Berlusconi dismissed the idea of his main coalition partner, leader of the anti-immigrant Northern League (Lega) Matteo Salvini, becoming the premier.
But a source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters: “I don’t have the sense he wants to play another round as Prime Minister.”
When is the Italian election 2018?
Italy’s next election will take place on Sunday March 4 2018.
Berlusconi’s centre-right party Forza Italia is currently in a pre-election coalition with the Northern League and the post-Facist Brothers of Italy (FDI).
This coalition has the best chance of forming a government with the latest polls showing it might get the 40 per cent needed for a majority.
The coalition partners have agreed that the party that gets the most votes will then get to choose the candidate for Prime Minister.
Out of the three parties, Forza Italia is currently in the lead in the polls.
The anti-establishment Eurosceptic Five Star Movement (MS5) is leading in the polls overall but has ruled out going into a coalition in order to govern.
Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) is trailing behind MS5 in the polls and only has a slim hope of winning.
What happens if there is a hung parliament?
The Economist Intelligence Unit is forecasting that Berlusconi’s coalition will not get a majority.
If this happens, Italy will be left with a hung parliament and political deadlock.
The PD would refuse to govern with the FDI and the Lega. This might eventually lead to a coalition between the FI and PD.
Alternatively, there could be political stalemate and rerun of the election altogether.
Source : EXPRESS