Former Italian premier Matteo Renzi said Sunday that a referendum defeat that cost him his job was a huge setback, but aborted plans to reopen a leadership contest within his own Democratic Party (PD).

Renzi resigned after constitutional reforms he had proposed were soundly rejected by voters on December 4. He was replaced by foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni, a close ally from the PD.

“For us it was not a loss, it was a super-loss. Full stop,” Renzi said at a PD assembly in Rome.

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