Formerly a left-wing Christian Democrat, Pisanu has been an ally of Silvio Berlusconi, first in Forza Italia (FI) and later in the PdL, since 1994. He was leader of FI in the Chamber of Deputies from 1996 to 2001, and, more important, he was minister of the Interior from 2002 to 2006, under Berlusconi. In 2006 he was elected to the Senate and, since then, he has become a critical figure within the party. Moreover, he was often seen as being interested in building a new Christian Democracy.
Since early 2011 a group of senators started to coalesce around Pisanu. They were not a formal faction and they were called Pisaniani. They included: some party heavyweights no longer under spotlight, such as Marcello Pera and Lamberto Dini; some fellow Sardinians, such as , , ; some Christian democrats, such as , , , and, again, Sanciu; and, strangely enough, a large group of liberals, such as (ex-PRI), (ex-PLI), (ex-PLI) and the already mentioned Massidda (ex-PRI), Pera (ex-PR) and Dini, and social democrats, such as (ex-PSI), (ex-PSI and ex-PSDI) and Carlo Vizzini (ex-PSDI, left in early November 2011).
Soon after Berlusconi decided to resign from Prime Minister, many Pisaniani, along with Scajoliani, opposed an early election and threatened to form a new party.
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