Letta says he’s running to be leader of crisis-hit PD (7)

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(ANSA) – ROME, MAR 12 – Ex-premier Enrico Letta announced he
was running to be the new leader of the centre-left Democratic
Party (PD) in a video posted on Twitter on Friday.
    Lazio Governor Nicola Zingaretti recently quit as leader,
complaining of an “unending stream” of criticism from within the
party.
    The party has fallen sharply in the opinion polls since he
resigned and several PD bigwigs asked Letta to take over.
    “Monday I would never have imagined standing to lead the party
that I helped found and which today is in a deep crisis,” said
the 54-year-old, who had taken a few days to consider whether he
wanted to run.
    “I am doing so for the love of politics and passion for
democratic values.
    “I don’t seek unanimity. I seek truth in relations among
ourselves in order to emerge from the crisis and look long term.
    “I will open a debate in all the PD sections”.
    Letta had stepped back from frontline politics after
then-PD-leader Matteo Renzi brought down his broad coalition
government in 2014 in order to take over the helm of government
himself.
    Renzi has since split from the PD to form his own centrist
party, Italia Viva (IV).
    Letta thanked his predecessor Zingaretti, saying he remained
bonded to him by “deep friendship and great esteem”.
    Zingaretti said he thought Letta was “the right person” to take
over the PD.
    “I’ll do my best as governor to show the good government of a
new centre left,” Zingaretti continued.
    “Ill make my contribution via ideas.
    “If I quit, it was to help, out of love for the party and for
Italy.
    “I hope that the season of rows is over and the season of the PD
being a lead player has begun”.
    Culture Minister Dario Franceschini and Labour Minister Andrea
Orlando were among the senior PD members to thank Letta for
returning to the fray. (ANSA).
   

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