Paolo Mieli, a former editor of national Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, has been appointed president of state broadcaster RAI.

The Italian parliament and senate's appointment of Mieli, a widely-respected journalist, historian and political commentator, followed the resignation of president Antonio Baldassarre and remaining board member Ettore Alberoni.

Last week, the speakers of the two houses of the Italian Parliament announced that the network's next president would be appointed from the opposition party, in a bid to address criticism over Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's influence over the state broadcaster.

Opposition politicians welcomed Mieli's nomination. But according to national news agency Ansa, Mieli has asked for certain conditions to be met before he accepts the job. "I thank the speakers of the Parliament and Senate. But I have already told them that I will only fully accept the position after carefully examining all the conditions under which the new board of directors will be able to operate" Mieli told Ansa.

Over the last few years, a succession of board of directors and presidents at RAI have resigned, complaining about inside power struggles and intense political pressure.

But, while Mieli has been appointed from the opposition, the other four board members are closer to Silvio Berlusconi's governing coalition.

These are: sociologist Francesco Alberoni (already Cinecitta board member and director of the National Italian Film School), historian Giorgio Rumi, university professor Angelo Maria Petroni, and journalist Marcello Veneziani.

Meanwhile, Ansa said Mieli has also asked for a guarantee that Enzo Biagi and Michele Santoro should be given back their jobs at RAI.

Both Santoro, a political talk show host and Biagi, a veteran journalist, who were critical of Berlusconi in the run up to the 2001 national elections were taken off the air after Berlusconi publicly said that their use of state-run television had been "criminal."