Renzi resigns as party leader in bid to secure stronger mandate

Renzi resigns as party leader in bid to secure stronger mandate

Former Italian Premier Matteo Renzi has resigned as Democratic Party leader in a bid to win a stronger mandate before the national election.

As promised, Renzi told fellow Democratic leaders at a meeting on Sunday that he was resigning.

But he insisted he will not submit to what he called the "blackmail" of a more left-leaning faction threatening a schism if he again seeks the top party post.

The national election, due in early 2018, might come earlier if Premier Paolo Gentiloni loses control of a frequently squabbling centre-left parliamentary majority.

The populist, anti-euro 5-Star Movement aims to gain national power for the first time. It is Parliament's second-biggest party, after the Democrats, who govern in a centre-left coalition.

PA

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