(dpa) - Former Italian reform minister, Roberto Calderoli, who resigned in 2006 in the wake of his appearance on television wearing a T-shirt decorated with Western media cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad, is set for a return to government.
Calderoli is among four leading members of the anti-immigration Northern League, named by party leader Umberto Bossi as members of prime minister-elect Silvio Berlusconi's future cabinet.
"I will be reform minister, Roberto Maroni will get the post of interior minister, Luca Zaia will be agriculture minister and Roberto Calederoli will be deputy prime minister," Bossi said Sunday evening.
The Northern League leader spoke to reporters after meeting Berluconi at the billionaire-turned-politician's residence at Arcore, outside Milan.
Berlusconi, following his triumph in last week's general elections, initially indicated he would move swiftly to announce his proposed 12-member cabinet, including "at least" four women.
However, after dropping a few names - the European Union's top security official Franco Frattini as foreign minister, and a return of Giulio Tremonti to the economy portfolio - Berlusconi later said he would complete the list only after receiving a formal mandate to form a government from Italy's head-of-state, President Giorgio Napolitano.
But Bossi, who criticized Berlusconi's decision to delay the announcement, on Sunday said the Northern League wanted to send a signal to the electorate by unveiling its nominees for government.
"Reforms, security and the safeguarding of agriculture are the issues for which the people gave us their votes. We have to give them our response," Bossi said.
The Northern League, which in the elections stood on a law-and- order platform, including curbs on illegal immigration, nearly doubled its strength in parliament - from 4.5 percent two years ago to 8.3 percent of the national vote in last week's vote.
In its traditional northern Veneto and Lombardy strongholds the party captured more than 25 percent of ballots cast.
Italy's newly elected parliament is scheduled to convene on April 29 when the two houses - the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies - have to choose their relative speakers before Napolitano can formally ask Berlusconi to form a government.
The new government will then need to face a vote of confidence in parliament.