Italian public broadcasterRAI is set to confirm the appointment of Claudio Petruccioli as its newpresident today. The appointment will end a 15-month management crisis at theheavily politicised broadcaster.

Petruccioli, 64, a memberof Italy's Democratic Party of the Left, is a former head of the parliamentarywatchdog that oversees RAI.

RAI's last president,left-wing journalist Lucia Annunziata, resigned in May 2004, claiming primeminister Silvio Berlusconi directly interfered in the broadcaster's programmingand management decisions.

If Petruccioli'sappointment is confirmed, he will be asked this week to appoint a new managingdirector to replace current manager Flavio Cattaneo, whose mandate has expired. Alfredo Meocci, a formermember of Italy's Communications Authority - said to be a political ally ofBerlusconi - is tipped for the role.