December 11, 2016 / 12:25 PM / 7 months ago

Italy president mandates foreign minister to form new government

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Italy's Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni attends a Senate meeting in Rome, Italy, April 5, 2016.Alessandro Bianchi/Files

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's president on Sunday gave Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni a mandate to try to form the country's new government.

Gentiloni said he would try to form the government as soon as possible and that it would move "within the same framework" as the outgoing government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

"I am aware of the urgent need to give Italy a government with full powers," he said.

The 62-year-old prime-minister designate is a key member of Renzi's Democratic Party. Renzi resigned on Wednesday after losing a referendum on constitutional reform on which he had staked his job.

Gentiloni will now select his ministers. He is expected to return to the presidential palace as early as Sunday night or Monday morning to present his cabinet list to the head of state.

Reporting By Philip Pullella

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