How Populism Helped Oust Italy's Prime Minister

Matteo Renzi staked his office on a nationwide referendum, aiming to speed up Italy's legislative process by weakening the Senate's power.
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How Populism Helped Oust Italy's Prime Minister

First Brexit, then Donald Trump and now the ouster of the Italian prime minister — another unexpected political event.

Matteo Renzi staked his office on a nationwide referendum, aiming to speed up Italy's legislative process by weakening the Senate's power. The referendum failed, and now he's resigned.

The populist Five Star Movement was the prime minister's biggest opponent, arguing some of the proposed changes could give the nation's leader too much power.

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Blocking the referendum meant keeping checks on Renzi, who had supported immigration and remaining in the European Union.

With almost 60 percent of the voters rejecting Renzi's referendum, he called his defeat "extraordinarily clear."

Some political groups are calling for an early election to fill the prime minister's office. That decision is up to the Italian president.