ROME, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Former Italian Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi hinted on Saturday that he may seek to run in
spring elections, changing his mind again and deepening chaos in
his centre-right party.
A day before the centre-left is due to hold primary
elections to pick a candidate to lead their alliance in the
national poll, the centre-right is still unsure about whether to
hold its own primary vote, which hinges on Berlusconi's plans.
Asked by reporters on Saturday whether he was considering
"returning to the playing field", Berlusconi said, "I am
thinking about it."
Italy will hold a parliamentary election in March next year
to pick a government and new leader to take over from Mario
Monti, who came to power a year ago when Berlusconi stepped
aside at the height of the financial crisis.
After months of hinting that he may run and then
backtracking, Berlusconi said at the end of October that he
would not lead his People of Freedom (PDL) party in the
The centre-right has been preparing to hold its own primary
vote on Dec. 16 to choose a new leader, but PDL secretary
Angelino Alfano said on Saturday that "would not make much
sense" if Berlusconi decides to stand himself.
The PDL has been close to disintegration due to disputes
over whether to stick with Monti's unpopular economic policies.
The party has slumped in opinion polls to less than half its
support in 2008 elections, and speculation has been growing that
Berlusconi may form his own breakaway party.
(Reporting By Catherine Hornby; Editing by Myra MacDonald)