By: E&P Staff
In a new kind of “campaign promise,” Premier Silvio Berlusconi has promised Italian voters he will refain from sex until the April 9 elections, his brother’s newspaper reports Sunday.
Il Giornale, a conservative Milan daily owned by Paolo Berlusconi, reported that the abstinence vow was made during a campaign rally in Cagliari, Sardinia, on Saturday.
A popular TV preacher on the island, Rev. Massimiliano Pusceddu, had hailed the twice-married premier for opposing gay marriage and defense of so-called family values, and promised that his followers would support the conservative leader because “if the left wins it will be the moral end for this country.”
Berlusconi, 69, replied: “Dear Father Massimiliano. I thank you a lot. I will try to meet your expectations, and I promise from now on, 2 1/2 months of absolute sexual abstinence, until April 9.”
His challenger is Romano Prodi, a former premier.
Berlusconi has had a facelift and a hair transplant in recent years. He has often been criticised by feminist groups for his use of sexual innuendo.
In June he sparked a diplomatic incident with Finland when he said he had used “playboy tactics” to persuade its female president to change her mind about one issue.