In a setback to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro Friday ruled out early elections to resolve the government crisis created by Berlusconi's resignation last week.

Reporting on consultations with political leaders this week, Scal-faro said a majority of the parties in the present Parliament said "no to immediate elections."Scalfaro said he would resume talks with representatives of the 14 political groups in Parliament on Monday on how to end the present crisis, which began when one partner in the coalition led by Berlusconi, the Northern League, joined the former Communists and other opposition forces in a move against the prime minister.

Berlusconi resigned Dec. 22 to avoid facing defeat in a confidence vote in Parliament and urged Scalfaro to call new national elections.

"The phase of profound renewal of the Italian political system can pass without difficulty two electoral confrontations in the space of one year," Berlusconi said.

Berlusconi took office last spring when his Forza Italia movement and its two allies, the Northern League and the neo-Fascist National Alliance, emerged the big winners in national elections in March.

Scalfaro's decision Friday did not exclude the possibility of naming an interim government to pass legislation on financing and election reforms, then calling a new national vote, as many of Ber-lus-coni's opponents in Parliament demand.

Berlusconi's backers say he should remain prime minister if such an interim government is formed. But his opponents are calling for a government of technicians led by a neutral figure.