07/12/2012 06:29 GMT | Updated 07/12/2012 06:32 GMT

Silvio Berlusconi 'To Run For Italian Prime Minister'

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi could run for office again next year, his party has indicated.

Berlusconi said he has been "besieged by requests" to stand for election, while Angelino Alfano, the Secretary of Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) party told Italian media this week that the 76-year old will attempt to return to power.


Berlusconi may return to power

The former prime minister said in a statement: "Many ask me to return, the country is on the brink of the abyss… I am besieged by petitions from my party to come back," Bloomberg reported.

"The situation today is much more serious than a year ago when I left the government. I cannot allow this and this will determine my choices in the coming days.

"The economy is on its last legs. I cannot allow my country precipitate a downward spiral without end,” he concluded.

The former three-term prime minister of Italy resigned from office in 2011 over tax evasion charges. He was sentenced to four years in jail and barred from holding political office for three years.

However Berlusconi is likely to never actually see the inside of a jail as under Italian law no one older than 70 can be sent to prison.

It is unclear what effect the ban would have on his bid to return to power.


The sign reads 'Silvio Italy believes in you'

Separately on Thursday, PDL walked out of the chamber ahead of two votes on economic measures, showing their disdain for Prime Minister Monti's austerity measures.

Though both votes were passed the PDL has the largest presence in parliament and their support is important to Monti's mandate. It is the first time PDL has not supported Monti's policies in the house.

Berlusconi's future return to the helm is further indicted by the PDL's decision to cancel its leadership primary ahead of the general election in March 2013.

Speculation continues to swirl in Italian media over whether Berlusconi will definitely stand again. Il Corriere report that with the possibility of PDL, the largest party in parliament, withdrawing support for Monti, "everything is still up in the air."

Minister La Russa is reported to have said: "Berlusconi has his own idea. What remains to be seen is whether he puts it into action".

An editorial in Gazzetta Del Sud quotes the "leadership vacuum" at the top of the PDL party making Berlusconi's return more likely. However Economic Development Minister Corrado Passera said Berlusconi would make it look as if Italy had "gone back" reported the BBC.