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The Comeback King: Silvio Berlusconi

People of Liberty Party (center-right)

Nicknamed "Il Cavaliere" or "the Knight," billionaire Silvio Berlusconi is best known for his lavish lifestyle, scandalous past and elaborate TV appearances. Convicted of tax fraud in October 2012, Berlusconi appealed the sentence, allowing him to run for a fifth term in office. Despite several high profile scandals in his public and private life, he is seen as the "comeback king" and was placed second in opinion polls conducted in early February.

The media magnate gained votes after promising a tax amnesty for evaders and the abolition of a widely unpopular real estate tax – a potential vote winner as 80 percent of Italians own their own homes. Though he could pull off a "surprise" victory, according to analysts, many voters are weary of the womanizing media magnate from his "bunga bunga" sex parties to alleged corruption scandals.


Elisabetta A. Villa | Getty Images