MILAN - Silvio Berlusconi is prepared to step aside as a candidate in next year's parliamentary election if that is what is needed to create a united front against the left, Libero newspaper quoted the former prime minister as saying.

"I want unity in the moderate wing and to get it, if necessary, I am ready not to stand as a candidate," Berlusconi said, according to Libero.

On Monday the secretary of Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) party Angelino Alfano said Berlusconi may drop plans to stand in next year's election if necessary.

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