Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been left off a list of new lifetime senators.
President Giorgio Napolitano had been pressed by members of Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party (PDL) to grant their leader the honour, which is bestowed on former heads of state and distinguished personalities in the arts and sciences.
However, Napolitano kept him off a list of four life senators – named just a week before voting starts on whether to strip Berlusconi of his parliamentary seat under a law passed last year.
Friday’s nominees were architect Renzo Piano, one of the creators of the futuristic Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Shard skyscraper in London, and Nobel Prize-winning physicist
Claudio Abbado, former director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, was another of the nominees along with a 50-year-old specialist in stem cell research, Elena Cattaneo.
Appointees enjoy the full powers and privileges of being a lawmaker for life, including some legal immunity.