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Berlusconi's daughters could run in European vote, says MP

FI campaign decision to be taken in next few days

19 March, 15:26
Berlusconi's daughters could run in European vote, says MP (ANSA) - Rome, March 19 - One day after Italy's highest appeals court upheld a two-year ban from office for three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi over a definitive tax-fraud conviction, a leading MP with his Forza Italia (FI) party on Wednesday said his daughters Marina and Barbara Berlusconi could stand as candidates in May's European elections.

Ex-education minister Maria Stella Gelmini, FI Lower House deputy whip, told Radio Capital a decision will be taken in the next few days on whether Berlusconi's oldest daughter Marina and her half-sister Barbara will run.

That would help to keep the Berlusconi name on electoral lists and campaign posters.

"The choice will be made in the coming days if Barbara or Marina, or both, will choose to stand as candidates in a decision that would be taken to defend the path undertaken by Silvio Berlusconi", said Gelmini.

Silvio Berlusconi's slender hopes of standing as a candidate in May's European elections were dashed after the Cassation Court upheld a two-year ban from office.

The leader of the opposition centre-right Forza Italia (FI) party was ejected from parliament last year under a separate six-year ban on office incurred by a 2012 anti-corruption law that kicked in after the supreme court upheld the conviction for tax-fraud at his media empire.

Under the Cassation Court's ruling, Berlusconi will not even be able to vote in the European elections.

Marina Berlusconi, the 46-year-old chairwoman of the Berlusconi family holding company, Fininvest, as well as her younger half-sister Barbara, who sits on the board of soccer club AC Milan, have been repeatedly hailed by members of FI as potential future leaders of the party, which was revamped and returned to its former name last year.

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