Renzi Quits as Democratic Party Chief After Italian Election Defeat

Italy's Renzi Under Pressure to Quit as PD Leader After Electoral Defeat

Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned as leader of the Democratic Party on Monday following its defeat in the country’s general election.

Speaking from the party’s headquarters in central Rome, the 43-year-old former mayor of Florence said he will step down from his post and a party congress will be convened to choose a new leader.

“It was a clear loss that forces us to turn a page,” Renzi said.

The governing Democratic Party got just 18.8 percent in the March 4 election dominated by populist parties Five Star and the League. It was the center-left party’s worst performance ever.

Renzi will head the party’s delegation during talks for the creation of a new administration and ruled out an accord with the League and Five Star to form the new government. “We said during the campaign that we’d never govern with extremists and we will remain faithful to that position. I will do what I love doing, being a senator from Florence.”

Renzi became Italy’s youngest prime minister in 2014, after securing 40 percent in the European Parliamentary elections. He resigned from the post in 2016 after suffering a defeat in a constitutional reform referendum that effectively was a vote on his leadership, though he remained at the helm of the party.

— With assistance by Lorenzo Totaro

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