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The daughter of disgraced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, Marina, could take over the leadership of People of Freedom party (PDL) if her father is forced to abandon his political life after being convicted for tax fraud, headlines L’Espresso.

The 47-year-old woman, who has already succeeded her father as chairman of his holding group Fininvest, has the support of Berlusconi loyalists within the party, while others, including Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, are urging Il Cavaliere to definitively step aside and make room for a new centre-right entity.

However, Berlusconi’s staff are working hard to delay the parliamentary committee’s vote that will put into effect the ban on him holding public office. His supporters hope this would enable him to run as a prime ministerial candidate should the government fall before October and the country go to the polls in early elections.