Matteo Renzi steps down as Italy's Prime Minister after conceding heavy defeat in referendum

Renzi said he would be visiting President Sergio Mattarella on Monday to hand in his resignation following a final meeting of his cabinet.

Last Updated: Dec 05, 2016, 06:01 AM IST
Matteo Renzi steps down as Italy's Prime Minister after conceding heavy defeat in referendum

Rome: In a shocking move, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Monday announced resignation from his post.

The move came hours after learning he had suffered a crushing defeat in a referendum on constitutional reform.

"My experience of government finishes here," Renzi told a press conference. Renzi also acknowledged the fact that the No campaign had won an "extraordinarily clear" victory in a vote on which he had staked his future.

Interior Ministry projections suggested the No camp, led by the populist Five Star Movement, had been backed by 59.5 percent of those who voted.

Nearly 70 percent of Italians entitled to vote on Sunday cast their ballots, an exceptionally high turnout that reflected the high stakes and the intensity of the various issues involved.

Renzi said he would be visiting President Sergio Mattarella on Monday to hand in his resignation following a final meeting of his cabinet.

Mattarella will then be charged with brokering the appointment of a new government or, if he can`t do that, ordering early elections.

Most analysts see the most likely scenario as being Renzi`s administration being replaced by a caretaker one dominated by his Democratic Party which will carry on until an election due to take place by the spring of 2018.

(With Agency inputs)