France 24 Mobile – International News 24/7

Italy's Renzi resigns as centre-left Democratic Party leader after election defeat

Latest update : 05/03/2018

© Alberto Pizzoli, AFP | Former prime minister and leader of the Democratic Party (PD), Matteo Renzi, gives a press conference a day after Italy's general elections on March 5, 2018 at the PD headquarters in Rome

Article text by NEWS WIRES

Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi resigned on Monday as leader of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) after a bruising defeat in a national election.

The PD took just under 20 percent of the vote in Sunday’s ballot, its worst result since its creation in 2007, despite presiding over a modest recovery in the euro zone’s third-largest economy.

Beaten by the anti-system 5-Star Movement and a centre-right coalition dominated by the eurosceptic League, Renzi acknowledged the defeat at PD headquarters in Rome.

“It is obvious that I will leave the helm of the PD,” said Renzi, who quit as prime minister when Italians voted against him in a 2016 referendum on constitutional reform.

Despite his decision to stand aside, he said he expected his party to shun any coalition talks.

“The Italian people have asked us to be in opposition and that is where we will go,” he said. “We will never form a government with anti-system forces,” he added, referring to the 5-Star and the League.

>> Read more: Inconclusive Italy vote delivers EU leaders’ nightmare scenario

No one party or coalition came close to a working majority, but 5-Star and the League said they must be in government, as investors dumped Italian government bonds.

Party rivals complained Renzi had moved too far to the right and led with a domineering, autocratic hand, eventually leading to a small left-wing group splitting off last year.



    Inconclusive Italy vote leads to nightmare scenario for EU leaders

    Read more


    In Turin, Italy’s Five-Star Movement finds power more challenging than protest

    Read more


    Guess who’s coming to dinner: Fixing Italy’s migrant crisis

    Read more