After 19 years in parliament and nine years as prime minister, it looks like the end of the road for Silvio Berlusconi. Today Italy’s Senate voted to expel the 77-year-old billionaire due to his conviction of tax fraud last year. At a rally with supporters, the former prime minister, with typical bluster, called it “a day of mourning for democracy.”
The vote strips Berlusconi of his immunity to arrest, although most expect him to serve only a year of community service for the fraud conviction. But there are plenty of other legal cases pending against Berlusconi, who is now barred from holding office for six years.
Of course, Berlusconi has been counted out many times before. And having only relaunched and rebranded his political party last month, he is unlikely to fade away from the political scene completely. That, at least, is the hope among photojournalists, who have counted on the colorful, controversial at at times cartoonish figure for a steady stream of striking shots over the years. For others, too, the main reason to be sorry Silvio Berlusconi is leaving parliament is the photos. Here are a few: