Italian PM to resign after party withdraws support
Updated: 2014-02-14 10:02
If Renzi is named prime minister, he would be Italy's third unelected leader in succession after the technocrat Mario Monti and Letta, who was appointed last April after weeks of fruitless wrangling between rival parties.
A sharp-talking politician, whose main experience of government has been as mayor of Florence, Renzi is not a member of parliament and has never stood in a national election. He has always said that he would want to become prime minister only with a clear mandate from voters.
However, he said that until the voting law blamed for the last stalemate has been changed, a new ballot was not possible.
"The idea of elections has a certain attraction but it wouldn't guarantee a certain victory for anyone," he said during the speech.
Having burst onto the political scene promising renewal and a break with the Byzantine traditions of Italian politics, Renzi may now gain power with the same type of backroom manoeuvring that characterised revolving door Christian Democrat governments of the past.
"This is a very dangerous operation by Renzi both for the country and for himself," Giovanni Toti, political adviser to former centre-right Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, told RAI state television.
"He was supposed to be the outsider who was going to renew the PD. Now, as soon as he gets close to power, he's behaving exactly like all the others," he said.