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Silvio Berlusconi For President? Former Italian PM May Be Angling For New Role

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Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi talks to journalists during a press conference, in Rome, Friday, May 25, 2012.  (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi talks to journalists during a press conference, in Rome, Friday, May 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ROME — Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi appears to be angling for the role of Italian president – with enhanced powers.

Berlusconi, who has been Italy's prime minister three times, said Friday his party will propose a constitutional amendment to allow Italians to directly elect presidents, as France does. Currently, the Italian presidency is mostly a ceremonial post, elected to one seven-year term only by both houses of Parliament.

Like France, Berlusconi said, Italy should make the president the top job, chosen by the party that wins the most parliamentary seats in an election and allowed to serve two terms.

Berlusconi said the role of president is not his ambition, `'but there are responsibilities that one cannot avoid."

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano's term ends next year.

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