Italy Referendum: Prime Minister Renzi Quits as Voters Deliver Stinging Rebuke – Wall Street Journal

Italy’s main opposition parties called for early elections as soon as Italian Premier Matteo Renzi conceded defeat in Sunday’s key referendum vote, announcing he will resign tomorrow.

“Sovereignty is with the people, from now on we will start applying our Constitution. Let’s go immediately to the polls!” the founder of Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, wrote in a tweet as official results started coming in.

The leader of Italy’s anti-euro Northern League, Matteo Salvini, also called for immediate elections. “We need to vote as soon as possible,” Mr. Salvini said in a press conference, asking to bring forward the next general elections, which would be slated for the spring of 2018.

Both the 5-Star and the Northern League will try to capitalize on Mr. Renzi’s sound defeat in the referendum, which saw the “No” prevailing with almost 60% of votes, according to partial data.

According to the latest opinion polls, the 5-Star Movement is neck-and-neck with Mr. Renzi’s center-left Democratic Party at around 30% and could aim at heading the next government, if Italian president Sergio Mattarella decides to accept Mr. Renzi’s resignation.


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