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    Berlusconi says unlikely to run for new term, names possible successor

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    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said he was unlikely to run for another term in 2013 and indicated that Justice Minister Angelino Alfano could become his successor, Western media reports said.

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said he was unlikely to run for another term in 2013 and indicated that Justice Minister Angelino Alfano could become his successor, Western media reports said.

    "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," the 74 year-old prime minister was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying during a dinner with foreign correspondents on Tuesday evening.

    Justice Minister Angelino Alfano, 40, could "replace me," he said.

    Berlusconi also dismissed speculation that he might campaign to become president of the republic, a largely ceremonial role elected by parliament, the Global Post website said.

    One of Europe's most controversial politicians, Berlusconi now faces a trial on charges that he paid for sex with an underage girl and used his position to cover it up. The prime minister has denied the accusations.

    Some analysts have suggested that the premier's remarks about Alfano were driven by his intention to overhaul the country's justice system, the Wall Street Journal said.

     

    ROME, April 14 (RIA Novosti)

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