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Italy's centre-left PD leader Enrico Letta to step down after election defeat

Letta assumes responsibility for PD electoral defeat.

Enrico Letta on Monday announced his intention to stand down as leader of Italy's centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) after his party's defeat in the nation's general election.

Staging a news conference on his own, Letta told reporters that he would remain at the helm of the PD until the next party congress which would be held soon.

Letta said the congress would see the PD take stock of its direction and its election result - less than 20 per cent - and confirmed that he would not be putting his name forward as a leadership candidate.

The PD leader assumed responsibility for losing to the right-wing alliance led by Giorgia Meloni which, according to provisional results, has obtained about 44 per cent of the vote.

Letta also took aim at Giuseppe Conte, leader of the populist MoVimento 5 Stelle (M5S), blaming him for bringing down the government of Mario Draghi.

Describing the right-wing victory as a "sad day, for Italy and for Europe", Letta acknowledged that Italian voters have made a "clear choice".

Photo credit: M. Cantile / Shutterstock.com.

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