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Italy's Berlusconi says centre-right must lead next government

Forza Italia party leader Silvio Berlusconi speaks to the media during the second day of consultations with the Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi


ROME (Reuters) - Italy's next government must be led by a bloc of conservative bloc that won the most seats at last month's inconclusive national election, leader of the centre-right Forza Italia party Silvio Berlusconi said on Thursday.

"This government cannot but start with the alliance that won the elections, the centre-right, and with the leader of the most voted political force in that alliance, the League," former prime minister Berlusconi said after holding talks with President Sergio Mattarella.

The conservative bloc fell well short of a majority in both houses of parliament, meaning that it will need to strike a deal with either the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement or the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) to form a coalition.

The 5-Star has ruled out any accord with Berlusconi, while the PD says it plans to stay in opposition.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Steve Scherer)

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