Matteo Renzi resigns as leader of Democratic party after poll defeat

Mr Renzi is expected to formalise his resignation

Matteo Renzi resigns as leader of Democratic party after poll defeat

Former prime minister and resigning Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi deserted an executive meeting at the party's Rome headquarters, where participants approved the new line laid out by deputy party chief and outgoing farms minister, Maurizio Martina.

No party or coalition won enough votes in the March 4th election to govern alone. The newly appointed interim leader, Maurizio Martina, was quoted by the Italian news agency Ansa as saying that the party meant to stick to Renzi's plan to go into opposition and would not join any government. Arduous talks will determine if either anti-establishment Five-Star Movement, the party with the most votes, or the centre-right coalition led by the anti-immigrant Lega, which would control more parliamentary seats, can form a stable government.

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Martina said the League and M5S "don't have any alibis now" and should "take their responsibility" to form a government.

The center-right bloc led by Matteo Salvini's League and its rival, the Five Star Movement headed by Luigi Di Maio, have both reached out to the party about possible cooperation in a new cabinet. The first task will be electing a speaker of each house.

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"The Italians did not vote for us to bring Renzi back to government". The formation of Italy's government is being closely watched in Europe, not only because of the risk posed by Italy's high public debt, at 132 percent of GDP, but also for a signal of the role of euroskeptic populists in the eurozone's third largest economy. The party is expected to pick a new leader at a party congress after a new government is formed.

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