World

Italian PM resigns after losing referendum

ROME Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation yesterday, hours after learning he had suffered a crushing defeat in a referendum on constitutional reform.

"My experience of government finishes here," Mr Renzi said after he lost the "Yes" vote he had staked his future on.

Interior Ministry projections suggested the "No" camp, led by the populist Five Star Movement, had been backed by 59.5 per cent of those who voted.

The Five Star Movement and others had denounced the proposed amendments to the 68-year-old constitution as dangerous for democracy because they would have removed important checks and balances on executive power.

The exceptionally high voter turnout of 70 per cent reflected the high stakes and the intensity of the various issues involved.

Most analysts see Mr Renzi's administration being replaced by a caretaker one dominated by his Democratic Party, which will carry on until an election due in 2018. - AFP

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