The right-wing Forza Italia politician who controlled Italian politics for the past two decades has been banned from the country’s parliament. Berlusconi, however, claims the Wednesday vote responsible for ridding him of his seat is a “vendetta by the left.”

Now, having lost his political immunity, the former prime minister could face prison for tax fraud despite his protestations and assurances that he holds evidence that would prove his innocence. After a simple majority in the 321 member Senate, Berlusconi has been ousted from what he’s come to utilize as his throne.

Berlusconi was convicted of hiring an underage prostitute and then demanding her release after she was imprisoned for thievery, as well as several other infractions for which he was won appeals or has been acquitted.

For the politician, it’s a “day of mourning” the state of democracy; for others, it’s proof that the system of government is still alive and well, ready to bring about justice.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

BBC News:

Ahead of the vote, [Berlusconi] vowed to remain in politics to lead his Forza Italia in a “fight for the good of Italy”.

Berlusconi told supporters gathered outside his Rome residence that “no political leader has suffered a persecution such as I have lived through”.

He said: “It is a bitter day, a day of mourning.”

Berlusconi, 77, said his struggle would continue outside parliament.

He said: “We must stay on the field, we must not despair if the leader of the centre-right is not a senator any more. There are leaders of other parties who are not parliamentarians.”

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