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Published: Thursday February 13, 2014 MYT 9:35:01 PM
Updated: Thursday February 13, 2014 MYT 9:36:24 PM

Italy PM Letta says will not be present at key party meeting

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta gestures during a news conference at Chigi Palace in Rome February 12, 2014. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta gestures during a news conference at Chigi Palace in Rome February 12, 2014. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Thursday he would not attend a meeting of the Democratic Party leadership which is expected to decide whether it will force him to stand aside and allow party leader Matteo Renzi to form a new government.

"I think that in an important day such as this, the discussion should take place, and decisions should be taken with the maximum serenity and transparency," he said in a letter to the party issued by his office.

He said he would await the decision of the party leadership at his office in Palazzo Chigi. The meeting is due to begin at 3 p.m. (1400 GMT).

(Reporting By James Mackenzie)

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