Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:2AM
Matteo Renzi (L), a former prime minister of Italy, (photo by AFP)
Matteo Renzi (L), a former prime minister of Italy, (photo by AFP)

Matteo Renzi, a former prime minister of Italy, is expected to win the leadership of the country’s ruling Democratic Party (PD).

A primary leadership election on Sunday is most likely to re-elect Renzi as the PD leader and send him once more to the forefront of the national political scene.

In the primaries, Renzi is competing against two rivals, namely, Justice Minister Andrea Orlando, and politician Michele Emiliano.

An internal vote conducted by the party earlier this month indicated that Renzi would win with a majority of 66.7 percent, with 25.3 percent for Orlando and eight percent for Emiliano.

An Ipsos poll published Friday by the Corriere della Sera newspaper predicted a 75-percent landslide for Renzi, with Orlando picking up 18.2 percent of the votes and Emiliano 6.8 percent.

Renzi, 42, had resigned as prime minister in December last year after his proposed constitutional reforms failed to get the nation’s approval in a referendum.

Former prime minister Matteo Renzi (photo by AFP)

In his earlier effort as premier and party leader, Renzi wanted to streamline Italy’s parliamentary system to grant more powers to the government.

That notion met with opposition from the left-wing members of his center-left party and subsequently lost in the referendum.

This prompted Renzi — who until his defeat in the constitutional referendum was regarded as the shining star of Italian politics — to resign as party leader.

During a recent debate between the three contenders aired on TV, Renzi said he would do “everything to bring back energy, momentum and vigor to the country,” and railed against the “stagnation that seems to be blocking the political and institutional life” since the referendum.

All Italians over 16 years are eligible to vote.