Italy’s convicted former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may have regained public favour at a local level but he is “absolutely not” in line to make a return to frontline politics, Carla Ruocco of opposition party Five-Star Movement told CNBC.
Berlusconi, who has served four terms as Prime Minister but was banned from office amid tax fraud charges, celebrated an apparent return to grace on Monday after his Forza Italia party and his alliance partners secured 16 out of 22 cities in local elections.
The revival would indicate that Berlusconi is on track to make his latest political comeback and run for Prime Minister but Ruocco insisted that he will fail to win the legal and public backing needed to secure a spot in Italy’s 2018 general election.
Currently, Berlusconi’s ban from public office runs until 2019. He would have to win an early appeal at the European Court of Human Rights to stand a chance next year.
The success of the centre-right alliance marks a blow for Buocco’s Eurosceptic Five-Star Movement and the incumbent centre-left Democratic Party. However, Buocco insisted that the outcome was most damaging for former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who also hopes to make a comeback after losing a referendum and stepping down from office in late-2016.
“I don’t think that this is a crisis for my Five-Star Movement,” Ruocco insisted during the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China.
“For Renzi, it is a debacle, but from my point of view my party is very strong from the political point of view.
“Italian citizens want to change government, and want to change European views … and Renzi failed.”
Ex-Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi ‘absolutely not’ making a comeback despite local election success, says Five-Star Movement