Can Silvio Berlusconi really become the next Italian president?

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Silvio Berlusconi… (UNDER BERLUSCONI FOOTAGE) PROFESSOR AT LUISS UNIVERSITY, GIOVANNI ORSINA, SAYING: “He has been, of course, very controversial… He has been condemned… he has been excluded from parliament…”is emerging from the shadows to become a central figure once again in Italy’s presidential discussions."Berlusconi believes he is one of the most important persons, possibly the most important historical figure in Italy…”The Italian parliament will convene on January 24 to begin voting for a new head of state and center-right parties have confirmed they want the embattled former prime minister as their candidate.But could he really make it?“This is what Berlusconi is looking for, he is looking for an applause, for the recognition by Italy of his importance."Giovanni Orsina is a professor of history at Luiss University in Rome."I think on the whole, it is rather unlikely. If he were anyone else but Berlusconi, I would say 0%. Given that Berlusconi has, in a way, made us used to his "Mission Impossible" and that he really has achieved targets that to everyone seemed unreachable, then I say it's not 0%, it is maybe 5%.”Berlusconi has been campaigning tirelessly behind the scenes and has mobilized his media empire behind his bid.The 85-year-old and former four-time prime minister potentially stands in the way of current PM Mario Draghi.Italy’s center-left Democratic Party (DP) has categorically ruled out backing the billionaire media tycoon, and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which has the largest number of parliamentarians, has echoed that sentiment.On the streets of Rome, support is mixed.ROME RESIDENT, ANNA ROSSI, SAYING: "If Berlusconi wins, there should be a demonstration because it seems ridiculous to me that a person like Berlusconi could win."ROME RESIDENT, FRANCO ANDUCCIO, SAYING: "He's a bit old, but we'll see what happens. As a politician he's done well, he's also had legal problems, but he's always been acquitted. He could do well."Berlusconi’s right-hand man and lower house deputy, Vittorio Sgarbi, has said he’s suspended his efforts to persuade undecided lawmakers because it was proving, quote, “a desperate task.”After all, Berlusconi has a record that includes tax fraud and the scandal over his notorious "bunga bunga" sex parties while he was last in office.ORSINA: "I mean, who can be surprised of anything that Berlusconi does? Berlusconi, as I said, is a person that has demonstrated in time to be able to do things that no one else would dare do."
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