Berlusconi won't run for re-election in 2013

Berlusconi won't run for re-election in 2013

Berlusconi laid out his succession plan during a dinner with the foreign press Tuesday night. He said 40-year-old Justice Minister Angelino Alfano will probably take his place as leader of the conservative People of Freedom party in 2013 when Italy would go to the polls.

"If I'm needed as the noble father for the elections, I'll do it. I could be the name at the top of the electoral lists for my party, but I don't want an operative role," Berlusconi said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Alfano could "replace me", he said. Berlusconi's spokesman Paolo Buonaiuti said the prime minister's comments do not constitute an announcement but should be considered only a possibility, according to Sky24 news channel.

Berlusconi said he was ready to resign when the UN approved a measure to bomb forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The prime minister is considered to be in a close relationship with Gaddafi.

"With all the personal difficulty that this decision represented for me, I thought it was my duty to resign. Everyone asked me to not do it, so I stayed in my post," the prime minister said.

Berlusconi has been clouded in controversy in the past few months. Opponents claim he used his power primarily to protect his financial interests and shield himself from prison for alleged corruption in his business practices.

He is due to appear in a trial soon for alleged misuse of power and for reportedly paying underage girls for sex.

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