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Italian FM Appointed Premier
International

Italian FM Appointed Premier

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni has been asked to form a government by the country's president.

President Sergio Mattarella has been looking for a replacement for center-left Premier Matteo Renzi, who resigned after losing a referendum on constitutional reform last week.

Gentiloni, 62, is a loyalist from Renzi's Democratic Party, BBC reported. Correspondents say if he is successful in rallying support, a government could be formed in days.

In a brief acceptance speech, Gentiloni said he realized the urgency of forming the government to reassure the country. He said he would work within the framework of the previous administration, making it likely that he will reappoint several ministers. But he faces a banking crisis and a rise in popular support for anti-establishment and euro-skeptic parties.

Opposition parties have ruled out joining a national unity government. The populist Five Star Movement has said it will boycott a parliamentary approval vote, due to take place on Wednesday, because it would not have legitimacy.

The party has called for immediate elections. Currently, the election is due to be held in May 2018.

However, President Mattarella has said the current electoral rules must be revised so both houses of parliament are synchronized. The law was changed to the so-called "Italicum" system last year to give the leading party a parliamentary majority through bonus seats in the lower Chamber of Deputies. But there has been no such change in the Senate, which is elected by proportional representation.

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