October 19, 2013 - 14:02 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A Milan appeals court has set Italian ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi's political ban in his tax fraud conviction at two years, the Associated Press reports.
The court was ordered by Italy's highest court to determine the length of the political ban accompanying his tax fraud conviction and four-year jail term after prosecutors conceded errors in the original five-year ban.
Berlusconi already is facing the loss of his Senate seat after losing his final appeal in the tax fraud conviction this summer under a 2012 law stipulating that anyone convicted to more than two years in prison cannot hold or run for office for six years.
The political bans face parliamentary approval. A Senate committee has approved yanking his seat based on the 2012 law, but a vote by the whole chamber is pending.
Berlusconi vowed in September to remain at the center of Italian politics even if expelled from parliament "I will always be with you, at your side, expelled from parliament or not. It is not the parliamentary seat that makes a leader," he said.
According to a poll by the SWG institute for the state television station RAI, 73 percent of Italians asked said they believed the Senate should vote to expel Berlusconi.
60 percent of those asked in the poll said the center-right should continue to support PM Enrico Letta's government for the good of the country even if Berlusconi is booted out.
The poll indicated that center-right voters were split almost down the middle about what to do if Berlusconi is ousted.
52 percent of center-right voters said the bloc should withdraw its support for Letta, potentially forcing him to resign. But 45 percent said they should continue to support him and 3 percent were undecided.