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Former centre-left leader in intensive care for five days

'Bersani stable, conscious, with no post-op brain damage'

07 January, 16:59
Former centre-left leader in intensive care for five days (ANSA) - Parma, January 7 - Former Democratic Party (PD) chairman Pier Luigi Bersani will remain in intensive care for five days after a brain haemorrhage Sunday, doctors at Parma's Maggiore hospital said Tuesday.

"He is stable, conscious, and able to interact," a medical bulletin said.

Bersani, 62, underwent surgery but did not suffer brain damage, doctors said. After conducting what detractors said was a colourless campaign, the former centre-left chief failed to lead the PD to a clear victory in last year's general election despite a big lead in the polls beforehand.

He was further stymied when the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) refused to back his government after the election. The PD eventually settled for a left-right coalition headed by Bersani's then second-in-command, Enrico Letta.

Bersani quit as PD chief in April after internal revolts prevented the party from having two of his chosen candidates elected president.

He has received messages of support from across Italy's political spectrum, including M5S leader Beppe Grillo, who used to call him a ''dead man talking''.