Italian Senate Ousts Berlusconi

Former Prime Minister was convicted of tax fraud earlier this year

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Gregorio Borgia / AP

Berlusconi in the Italian Senate on Oct. 2, after his attempt to topple the government failed.

Updated at 12:11 p.m.

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi lost his seat in the Senate on Wednesday when the upper house of parliament voted on whether to expel him following his tax fraud conviction.

Berlusconi resigned as prime minister in late 2011 and was convicted of tax fraud in August 2013, the Guardian reports. He was sentenced to four years in prison, but the sentence was commuted to one year of community service. Berlusconi has been trying to stall the Senate vote for months, claiming he had new evidence that would exonerate him. He’s repeatedly claimed that his conviction is the result of persecution by left-wing judges. He even declared Wednesday a “day of mourning for democracy” to thousands of cheering supporters outside his Roman palazzo.

Though the vote has lost him his seat in Parliament, it hasn’t cost him his political career. BerlusconiĀ has relaunched his Forza Italia party and, according to the Associated Press, analysts estimate he still has millions of supporters.

This post was updated to reflect the Italian Senate’s vote to oust the former prime minister.

[The Guardian]