Premier Silvio Berlusconi's political fate lies in the hands of a few swing lawmakers who will decide the outcome of confidence votes in the Italian parliament following a slew of scandals and political infighting.
Parliament debate resumes Tuesday with a vote in the Senate scheduled to begin at 1030 GMT (5:30 a.m. EST), which the premier is expected to win. The risk lies in the lower Chamber of Deputies, where Berlusconi's split with longtime ally and Chamber speaker Gianfranco Fini has potentially deprived him of a majority, Washington Post says.
Senators voted in favour 162 to 135 for him after he had called for a confidence vote in his government after a series of sex scandals and accusations that he was failing the country Daily Mail reports.
Forbes magazine ranked Berlusconi last year as the world's 70th richest man, estimating his net worth at $6.5 billion. He amassed much of his wealth as a self-made media mogul, largely through the company Fininvest, and he also owns AC Milan, one of the world's most famous soccer teams.
He's been politically embattled before, having served twice as prime minister (1994-95 and 2001-06) before his election in 2008. Yet, especially in recent years, the 74-year-old has been dogged by scandal and legal troubles, in addition to his political challenges, CNN International informs.