Italian president meets with center-left leader, whips

Congress to elect secretary slated for November

Italian president meets with center-left leader, whips

Rome, August 9 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano held an unannounced meeting Friday with the leader of the Democratic Party (PD) amid splits in the center-left. Interim PD Secretary Guglielmo Epifani, who was joined at the meeting by his party whips from the Senate and the Lower House, is currently overseeing a party riven with internal disputes over the direction the party should take. Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, a charismatic moderate, is the most popular candidate among voters to represent the party in future elections, but his ambitions have been widely questioned by party loyalists who allege his political goals trump his desire to see the current coalition government succeed. A congress to elect a full-time replacement for Epifani is tentatively scheduled for late November.

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