Renzi asked to form new government

PD leader set to become Italy's youngest premier

Matteo Renzi has been asked by Italian president Giorgio Napolitano to form a new government following a meeting at the Quirinal Palace in Rome on 17 February.

Renzi, the leader of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) and mayor of Florence, must now present his government programme to parliament, something that is expected to take several days.

If successful Renzi would become Italy's youngest prime minister, and its third consecutive non-elected premier after Mario Monti and Enrico Letta. Renzi has never been elected to parliament or served in government before and is completely untried at international level.

His ascent to power follows the departure of ex-prime minister Letta who resigned on 14 February after a motion of no confidence from his party and pressure from Renzi. Since being elected as PD party leader in December, Renzi manoeuvred to oust Letta, a low-key figure whose 10-month tenure was marked by instability within his government coalition and the slow pace of economic reform.

Now Renzi will have to win the support of small centrist parties and Letta’s coalition partner Nuovo Centro Destra (NCD) led by Angelino Alfano, Letta's interior minister and deputy premier.

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