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Italian court: Former PM Silvio Berlusconi can stand for office again

Team SoOLEGAL 14 May 2018 3:33pm

Italian court: Former PM Silvio Berlusconi can stand for office again

Rome: Italy's three-time former PM Silvio Berlusconi, who had been barred from standing in national elections in 2012 for five years after being convicted for tax fraud is eligible to run for office again. A verdict to this effect was given by Milan’s Surveillance Tribunal. The decision can be appealed against in 15 days.

The tax fraud conviction not only forced Berlusconi to surrender his Senate seat but also prevented him from being a candidate in national elections.

The decision was made following review request from lawyers of the 81-year-old Berlusconi, a media mogul who founded a center-right political party, Forza Italia twenty five years ago. The ban was originally getting over in 2019.

In October 2012, Berlusconi was convicted on tax evasion charge and Italy's highest criminal court had upheld his conviction a year later. And since during that time there was a stipulation that anybody sentenced for more than two years in prison becomes ineligible to hold or run for public office for six years, Berlusconi had to leave his seat.

Berlusconi bitterly complained he was treated unfairly, since the 2012 law took effect after the tax fraud. He filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights which is expected to give decision this year on his appeal of the law’s application to him.

Thus sidelined, Berlusconi was forced to skip this year’s parliamentary election. The elections held in March gave fractured result with legislature sharply divided into three factions, one of them a center-right alliance made up of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the anti-migrant League party.

No party has clear cut majority and it is quite possible that midterm elections might be called before 2023 and where Berlusconi can run again.

Tagged: Forza Italia   Silvio Berlusconi   Milan Surveillance Tribunal  
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