February 3, 2017 / 12:22 PM / 7 months ago

Italy's Renzi signals willingness to ditch push for early vote

ROME, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi signalled willingness on Friday to shelve a drive for early elections that is tearing apart his Democratic Party (PD) as it faces a strong challenge from eurosceptic populists.

Renzi, who resigned after his proposal to change the constitution was rejected in a referendum last year, has been pushing for a vote by June, around a year ahead of schedule.

But threats by left-wing PD rivals to split the party if he forces elections are jeopardising his return to power, and Renzi said he did not want to be seen as seeking a "re-match" after the referendum defeat. (Reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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