Former Italian Premier Matteo Renzi makes a point during his message during a national assembly of the Democratic Party, in Rome's Hotel Parco de' Principi, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)
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Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) Sunday, opening the way for a leadership fight in which he will take on rivals who are threatening to split the center-left.Battling for his political life, Renzi made clear that he would seek re-election. PD dissidents, including former leader Pierluigi Bersani, say that the party has shifted too far from its leftist roots.Renzi did not say when the leadership ballot would be held, but allies say he is keen to hold it before local elections in June, fearing that defeat for the PD then could sink his chances.In the street outside the party meeting, a few PD supporters came to urge their leaders to stick together.
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