‘Renzi won’t run for Democratic Party leadership again’

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Rome, March 9 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s Democratic Party secretary Matteo Renzi, who resigned his post earlier this week after the party’s crushing electoral defeat, will not run in another leadership contest, a senior party member said on Thursday.

“Renzi has said clearly that he will not stand for re-election in the party primaries. He no longer wants to be secretary and has done his bit,” said MP Ettore Rosato, who leads the Democratic Party in Italy’s lower house of parliament.

“He said I am resigning and there will be a party congress,” Rosato told La7 television channel’s Omnibus programme.

“Otherwise he would have said I am resigning and will stand for re-election at the congress,” Rosato said.

Renzi has made no public statement on whether he will try and return to the helm of the Democratic Party, which is in disarray after winning less than 20 of votes in Sunday’s national elections – its worst-ever result.

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Asked whether a possible successor to Renzi could be industrial development minister Carlo Calenda, who this week joined the Democratic Party, Rosato said: “He is an intelligent person but how can you expect him to become party secretary when he just become a member?”

In his resignation speech on Monday, Renzi, who was elected party leader in April 2013, said the Democratic Party should now go into opposition and should not enter any coalition “with extremists”.

Renzi was referring to the anti-migrant League and the populist Five-Star Movement, who have laid claim to form a government after coming out on top in Sunday’s inconclusive polls.

Neither party has enough seats in the Italian parliament to govern alone but Five Star is the largest single party after the vote and the League is the leader of the winning centre-right coalition.

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