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Berlusconi sad at 'halted' presidential bid says Sgarbi

Forza Italia MP says ex-premier seeking honourable exit

(ANSA) - ROME, JAN 18 - Silvio Berlusconi "was quite sad yesterday" as his bid to become Italy's next president has "halted", Vittorio Sgarbi, an art critic and MP for the ex-premier's Forza Italia (FI) party, said on Tuesday.
    Although FI's centre-right allies, Matteo Salvini's League and Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, have said they are in favour of the media billionaire replacing President Sergio Mattarella, whose seven-year-term is coming to an end, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and the 5-Star Movement (M5S) have said the new head of State must be a more impartial figure.
    So there are big doubts about whether Berlusconi would be able to muster the necessary support when lawmakers from both houses of parliament and regional representatives start voting for a new president next week.
    "I think there must be disquiet of a psychological nature," Sgarbi told RAI radio.
    "He stayed in Milan (yesterday).
    "I think this pause is related to the fact that he is wondering if there is an honourable way out, with a name (for a new president) that he likes, perhaps (the re-election of) Mattarella". (ANSA).


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