06:31 GMT20 October 2020
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    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Monday said he will resign later in the day amid exit polls showing the failure of the country's constitutional referendum.

    ROME (Sputnik) — On Sunday, Italians voted on whether the national constitution should be amended to curtail Senate powers and speed up the lawmaking process. The referendum was widely seen as a test of Renzi's leadership and a number of opposition leaders called for the prime minister's resignation as exit polls showed a decisive rejection of the reforms by voters.

    "Tomorrow I will gather the Council of Ministers and I will go to the Quirinal Palace to resign," Renzi said at a press conference.

    The latest exit polls showed that almost 60 percent of voters opposed constitutional changes with around 45 percent in favor.

    Renzi called the referendum a great celebration of democracy and reassured his fellow reform supporters by taking responsibility for the defeat.

    "I failed in bringing about a victory, but I did everything I could during this time. And I take full responsibility for the defeat," he said.

    Renzi previously vowed to step down if the vote is negative. Italy's anti-establishment Five Star Movement has been campaigning against prime minister’s constitutional reforms.

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    'A Matter of Principle': Why Renzi Risks It All in Italian Referendum
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    Italy Will Face New Reality After Referendum on Constitutional Reform - PM Renzi
    Tags:
    referendum, constitution, resignation, Matteo Renzi, Italy
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