Silvio Berlusconi Won't Run for New Term in 2013

 Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

 

ROME -- Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s billionaire prime minister currently under on trial in three separate sets of charges, said he does not plan to run for office again once his current term expires in 2013, Italian newspapers reported.

The 74-year-old Berlusconi, who controls the Mediaset broadcast and content giant, is being tried for bribery in connection with content acquisitions for his television networks, tax evasion, and for abuse of power related to an alleged sexual relationship with an underage cabaret dancer.

He made his comments Thursday, the day after the lower house of parliament approved a controversial bill that will make it more difficult to achieve a conviction in some of his trials. The Senate, which is controlled by Berlusconi allies, will vote on the measure next week.

In his remarks, Berlusconi said he planned to finish his current term as prime minister in order to reform the judiciary that he says has singled him out over the years. If he manages to do so, he will become the first Italian prime minister to serve a complete five-year term since the current system of government was established in Italy in 1946.

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