Following Referendum Defeat, Matteo Renzi Bows Out as Italian PM.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has officially resigned as a result of the loss in the referendum voting in which Italians rejected his proposed constitutional changes.

Renzi’s intention was to change the 1948 constitution by reducing the power of Parliament’s upper house, the Senato, through a reduction in members — cutting it from 315 to 100, making it more of a consultative assembly.

He also made it clear that the referendum was equally a confidence vote on his 2½ years in office.

The “No” campaign was spearheaded by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement party, led by Beppe Grillo

On Monday, President Sergio Mattarella asked the prime minister to stay on to approve the budget for the coming year. The budget was passed on Wednesday, and Mr. Renzi formalized his resignation soon after. This time, Mr. Mattarella accepted, but he asked the government to stay on in a caretaker capacity to handle day-to-day affairs.

Th referendum turnout was about 68.48%, 59.26% voted NO while about 40.74% voted YES to Renzi’s proposals.

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