A senior parliamentary figure in Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s ruling center-left Democratic Party (PD) resigned on Wednesday in protest over his proposed new electoral law, underlining unrest among government backbenchers. Roberto Speranza, the PD’s lower house parliamentary floor leader, told a meeting of the party late on Wednesday that he was stepping down because he disagreed with government policy. “I will be loyal to my group and to my party but I want to be just as loyal to my deep convictions,” he was quoted as saying by Italian media.
Speranza is one of a group of around 100 center-left deputies who have resisted plans to overhaul the electoral system, several of whom also walked out of the meeting in Rome.
Speranza’s resignation as floor leader will not in itself affect Renzi’s ability to govern and it is unclear whether party rebels will vote against the government in parliament. But the resignation underlines the deep resistance the prime minister faces from many elements of the PD.