Former Italian Prime Minister Renzi,Regains Party Leadership


Less than five months after resigning as Italy’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi has regained leadership of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) with an overwhelming victory in a primary election among party supporters.

According to partial results, Renzi had about 72 percent of the vote, held in makeshift polling booths around the country. About 2 million party members voted in the primary. Justice Minister Andrea Orlando had 19 percent while Michele Emiliano, the governor of the southern Puglia region, had about 9 percent.

Both of his opponents, as well as Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, called to congratulate him, and Renzi gave a long victory speech at party headquarters.

“Forward together,” Renzi said to applause.

Renzi, 42, resigned as prime minister in December after a crushing defeat in a referendum over constitutional reforms aimed at streamlining lawmaking. He was replaced by Gentiloni, his foreign minister, but he quickly began planning a comeback.

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