Former Italian Prime Minister and president of the Italian center-right Forza Italia (FI) party, Silvio Berlusconi during a rally. AFP / Andreas SOLARO
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Silvio Berlusconi was Monday celebrating a return to center-stage in Italian politics as a right-wing coalition he helped put together declared victory in Sicily elections that had been billed as a benchmark for Italy's general election next year.With over 90 percent of votes counted after Sunday's regional vote, the Berlusconi-backed candidate for regional president, Nello Musumeci, had 39.9 percent, comfortably clear of Giancarlo Cancelleri of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S), on 34.6 percent.The PD candidate polled 18.5 percent and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni's center-left party lost control of the regional assembly.Five Star doubled its popular vote from the last round of regional elections and claimed a moral victory on the grounds that it was projected to get more votes that any other single party.As things stand, the PD will enter the general election with former premier Matteo Renzi as its candidate to lead the country.
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