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Italy's former prime minister Matteo Renzi throws down the gauntlet


Italy

Italy's former prime minister Matteo Renzi throws down the gauntlet

Italy’s former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has thrown down the gauntlet to his ruling Democratic Party, telling them he wants a leadership contest before any national vote.

His announcement paves the way for a power struggle against his many critics within the fractured party.

He said: “I, for my character, always choose the challenge of the open seas and not the swamp of internal equilibrium for which I am not adapted. If you want that, choose someone else.”

Renzi stepped down in December after losing a referendum on constitutional reform.

He wants early elections, but his calls for a national ballot has been slowed by those who want him to step aside as party secretary.

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