Berlusconi’s party in shock after purge of candidates with criminal connections


Before Berlusconi’s comeback, his party secretary Angelino Alfano had announced that people under trial or under investigation would not be allowed to run for Parliament.

Mr. Berlusconi was not enthusiastic over it, but the polls apparently forced him to give up. Just today, the new policy made his most illustrious victim in Mr. Nicola Cosentino aka ‘Nick ‘O ‘Mericano’ (‘Nick the American’), the former chief of Berlusconi’s party in Campania.

Both of Mr. Cosentino’s siblings are married with notorious bosses of organized crime. After 2008, he was put under investigation in connection with various offences and resigned from his Government position, remaining a MP.

Mr. Berlusconi’s decision not to allow him to run again effectively means that he will be stripped of his MP immunity, and probably arrested. That’s why Mr. Berlusconi’s decision came after an enervating nighttime negotiation with Mr. Cosentino and Mr. Alfano. According to some sources, Mr. Cosentino even threatened to keep with him the papers necessary for the party to run in Campania. The papers needed to be filed with the Naples Court of Appeals before this evening.

Mr. Marcello Dell’Utri, a personal friend of Mr. Berlusconi under trial for organized crime connections, was excluded from the slate, too.

The papers with the candidates’ lists have already been filed with the Courts, so the decision is taken. However, some doubts will probably keep haunting Mr. Berlusconi. Was he right in giving up to his arch-nemesis, the Courts ? And how many votes will he lose together with his organized crime-connected candidates ?


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