On October 25, Italy's largest centre-left party, the Partito Democratico (PD), voted on its new leader at the primary elections. Two-time former minister Pierluigi Bersani was chosen as the new head of the party, winning 50 percent of the votes against interim leader Dario Franceschini and Italian senator Ignazio Marino, who both say they will support Bersani's leadership.
In his victory speech, the 58-year-old, who served as industry and transport minister in two Romano Prodi governments, said ‘the PD will be an alternative party, more than just an opposition party.'
The primaries were an expected success among the Italian electorate: over three million Italians participated, 280,000 in Tuscany alone.
Since its inception in 2008, the PD has been rife with internal conflict and has faced a series of electoral defeats and corruption investigations. A native of the Emilia Romagna region, Bersani aims to unite the party.
The day after his victory, Bersani went to Prato to speak to textile entrepreneurs, hard hit by the economic crisis.