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PD votes for Renzi premiership bid

Overwhelming support for Florence mayor

13 February, 18:31
PD votes for Renzi premiership bid (ANSA) - Rome, February 13 - The Democratic Party (PD) on Thursday voted overwhelmingly for leader Matteo Renzi to take over from party colleague Enrico Letta as Italian premier.

The executive of the PD, Italy's largest party, voted by 136 votes to 16 with two abstentions to back a new government led by the dynamic young Florence mayor.

Renzi, who at 39 would become Italy's youngest-ever premier, has vowed to "recharge the government's batteries". The PD leader, who has been likened to a young Tony Blair and is expected to get a parliamentary OK after a mandate from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, would be Italy's third straight non-elected premier.

Letta, who struggled to hold together two fractious and unprecedented left-right coalitions, will hand in his resignation to Napolitano Friday after 10 months of often frustrating reform efforts.

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