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Silvio Berlusconi Backs Off Italy Prime Minister Election Run In 2013

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Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gestures as he attends the presentation of the book 'The big cheat' by former Minister of Public Administration and Innovation Renato Brunetta in downtown Rome on September 27, 2012. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/GettyImages) | Getty Images

ROME -- Silvio Berlusconi is backing off from suggestions he may be seeking a comeback. He is even hinting he could support in the next elections Mario Monti, the non-political economist named to succeed him as premier to steer the country away from financial disaster.

The 76-year-old media mogul said in an interview on a family-controlled TV station Tuesday that he could take "a step backward" to allow moderates to form a coalition that could defeat the left in elections in the spring.

Berlusconi says he "wouldn't exclude" Monti as leader of such a moderate group.

With a personal legacy tarnished by sex and corruption scandals, Berlusconi has sought to play at least a role as a power broker since resigning.

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