Silvio Berlusconi's campaign to become Italian president is making little progress and he would be wise to withdraw his candidacy, the right-hand man of the former prime minister said on Tuesday, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Vittorio Sgarbi, a lower house deputy who has been trying to persuade undecided lawmakers to back the 85-year-old Berlusconi, said he had suspended his efforts because it was proving "a desperate task".
Berlusconi has led four governments as prime minister, but his bid to become president has always looked unlikely due to a record that includes a conviction for tax fraud and the scandal over his notorious "bunga bunga" sex parties while he was last in office.
He is currently on trial on charges of bribing witnesses in a previous case involving alleged underage prostitution, of which he was acquitted. He denies all wrongdoing.
Sgarbi said in an interview with RAI state radio that believed Berlusconi is looking for "an honourable way out" by proposing an alternative candidate.