Italy’s Matteo Renzi regains Democratic Party leadership Sunday April 30,2017
Former Premier Matteo Renzi regained the Democratic Party leadership, handily winning a Sunday April 30,2017 that he hopes will bolster the center-left’s ability to counter growing support for populist politicians in Italy ahead of national elections.
“Forward, together,” Renzi tweeted, invigorated by his comeback after a stinging defeat in a December reforms referendum aimed in part at streamlining the legislative process led him to resign as head of Italy’s government and as leader of his squabbling party.
“The alternative to populism isn’t the elite,” Renzi told supports late Sunday after unofficial results indicated he got more than 70 percent of votes cast nationwide. “It’s people who aren’t afraid of democracy.”
Throughout the day, some 2 million voters lined up at makeshift gazebos in piazzas and street corners, at ice cream parlors, cafes or local party headquarters around the country to cast ballots for a new head of the splintering Democratic Party, whose rank-and-file range from former Communists to former Christian Democrats.
Primary voting was open to anyone 16 years of age of older — the oldest voter was reported to be 105. Holding Democratic Party membership wasn’t a requirement.