Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has promised to resign after parliament passes urgent budget reforms, has said he sees Italy holding early elections at the start of February and that he will not be a candidate for office again.

I will resign as soon as the (budget) law is passed, and, since I believe there is no other majority possible, I see elections being held at the beginning of February and I will not be a candidate in them, he was quoted Wednesday as saying in a conversation with the editor of La Stampa newspaper.

He said the centre-right candidate for prime minister will be PDL party leader and former justice minister Angelino Alfano.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella)