Return of Renzi

Matteo Renzi regains leadership of Partito Democratico (PD).

Matteo Renzi has regained the leadership of Italy’s ruling Partito Democratico (PD), securing 70 per cent of the votes in a primary election held on 30 April.

Renzi faced two candidates, justice minister Andrea Orlando – who took 19.5 per cent of the vote – and Puglia governor Michele Emiliano – who took ten per cent. Both candidates were considered further to the left of Renzi however neither was seen as a serious threat to the former Italian premier.

The almost two million party members who turned out to vote on a bank holiday weekend was a further boost for Renzi whose triumphant return comes less than five months after he resigned as prime minister following the rejection of his flagship constitutional reform in a referendum last December.

Renzi was replaced as Italian premier by Paolo Gentiloni, his foreign minister, whose new cabinet was practically identical to that of his predecessor.