Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi waves before the taping of the television talk show "8 e mezzo" (8 and half) in Rome, Italy February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo
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Silvio Berlusconi's rightwing coalition, which is on course to win the most votes in Italy's election, is holding its first and last public meeting Thursday in an attempt to quell speculation of severe internal divisions.Berlusconi, the flamboyant 81-year-old former prime minister and head of the center-right Forza Italia (Go Italy), and the leaders of far-right parties the League and Brothers of Italy (FdI), Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, have not once met publicly in the entire election campaign.Forza Italia and the League, the two parties within in the coalition destined to pick up the most votes, are battling to come out on top in order to control who will choose the group's prime ministerial candidate, while FdI is lending its voice to the League's anti-euro, anti-migrant tub-thumping.Should it gain more votes than both the center-left coalition led by the former prime minister Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party (PD) and Berlusconi's rightwing group, it would have to strike a deal with other parties, something it has so far refused to do.
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