December 12, 2016 / 1:34 PM / 8 months ago

Outgoing Italy PM Renzi expects elections in June - Web site

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi looks on during a media conference after a referendum on constitutional reform at Chigi palace in Rome, Italy, December 5, 2016.Alessandro Bianchi/Files

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's outgoing Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he expects there will be early elections in June, according to an interview in which he wished his replacement, Paolo Gentiloni, good luck.

"The next elections, presumably in June, will be held with a proportional voting system," Renzi said in an interview with Quotidiano.net, though he said he expected parliamentarians to resist a vote before September because that is when they would qualify for their state pensions.

President Sergio Mattarella asked Gentiloni, who was foreign minister in Renzi's government, to form a government on Sunday, and he may accept the mandate as early as Monday. The current legislature is not scheduled to end until 2018.

"He's a quality man and will do well. Best of luck to him," Renzi said. Renzi's spokesman did not confirm the comments in the interview, which the journalist said he published against Renzi's will.

Reporting by Steve Scherer and Francesca Piscioneri, editing by Isla Binnie

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