Media mogul and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has suggested his pick for the next leader of Italy, with elections just days away.
Berlusconi said Tuesday he wants Antonio Tajani, the current president of the European Parliament, to become the next prime minister. Berlusconi's right-wing party, Forza Italia, seems well-placed to win support in the upcoming general election alongside it's center-right coalition partners. The coalition is expected to gain the largest slice of the votes but fall short of a solid majority to enable it to govern. Given that Berlusconi cannot run for office until next year due to a public office ban, he needs to put forward another name for prime minister.
Speaking to Rai Radio Tuesday, Berlusconi said that he wants Tajani, who helped him in forming his party in the 1990s, to become his appointee for prime minister. "Because of the very important role he fills, he has asked me to put forward his name only when he gives me the go-ahead," Berlusconi said.
Tajani has been president of the European Parliament since January of last year. His office wasn't immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC Wednesday morning.
"Everyone can understand that he would be an excellent candidate because Italy doesn't count for anything anymore in Europe or in the world. He would count an awful lot because he is the president of the European institution which is directly elected by European citizens," Berlusconi said.
Tajani has participated in several campaign events for Forza Italia ahead of Sunday's vote.