Less than five months after resigning as prime minister, Italy’s Matteo Renzi has regained leadership of the ruling Democratic Party with a landslide victory in a primary election among party supporters. Partial results cited by Reuters gave Renzi about 72 percent of the vote Sunday. With about 2 million party members voting at polling stations across the country, Justice Minister Andrea Orlando got about 19 percent of the vote, and Michele Emiliano, the governor of the Puglia region, had 9 percent. Renzi encouraged a cheering crowd at party headquarters after his win, and later expressed thanks to supporters on Instagram. “This is an extraordinary responsibility. Heartfelt thanks to the women and men who believe in Italy,” he wrote. The win paves the way for Renzi’s comeback in a national election in May 2018. He stepped down in December after a major defeat in a referendum on constitutional reforms.
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