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Published: Monday January 6, 2014 MYT 8:35:01 AM
Updated: Monday January 6, 2014 MYT 8:36:09 AM

Italy's former centre-left leader Bersani suffers brain haemorrhage

PD (Democratic Party) leader Pierluigi Bersani holds his ballot during the presidential election in the lower house of the parliament in Rome April 18, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

PD (Democratic Party) leader Pierluigi Bersani holds his ballot during the presidential election in the lower house of the parliament in Rome April 18, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

ROME (Reuters) - The former leader of Italy's centre-left Pier Luigi Bersani was hospitalised for a brain haemorrhage on Sunday, less than a year after he resigned as head of the Democratic Party (PD) following party upheaval and a disappointing election.

The 62-year old was taken to the hospital on Sunday and underwent an operation to address a brain haemorrhage, hospital authorities said. His unexpected illness prompted an outpouring of sympathy and support from both supporters and former rivals.

Bersani appeared set to become Italy's prime minister ahead of elections in February 2013, but all changed when his party did not win enough seats to govern alone and the former communist failed to pull a coalition together.

He resigned as leader of the PD after a party rebellion, and fellow party member Enrich Letta was appointed to lead the compromise left-right coalition currently in power.

(Reporting by Naomi O'Leary; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

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