Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta resigns
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta is shown in Rome's Palazzo Chigi Palace government office Wednesday.
- Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta tenders his resignation
- He's likely to be replaced by Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi
- The third largest economy in the eurozone has had more than its share of political turmoil
- Letta was sworn into office last April, ending weeks of uncertainty after inconclusive elections
Rome (CNN) -- Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta resigned Friday after less than a year in office, according to a statement released by the Italian presidential palace.
The country's President, Giorgio Napolitano, has accepted the resignation, the statement reads.
Letta, of the center-left Democratic Party, announced Thursday that he would be standing down, plunging the country into fresh political uncertainty.
He's likely to be replaced by Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi, a rising political star who won the party's primary a couple of months ago.
Letta's decision followed a Democratic Party meeting at which Renzi said a change of government was needed, in order to bring about reforms and stay in power through 2018.
Future of Europe's economy
Is Matteo Renzi ready to be Italian PM?
The party then officially asked Letta to recognize the need to start a new phase, implying that he should resign.
There has been growing disillusionment with Letta in the past couple of months, with many feeling that reforms are moving too slowly and that he is failing to act decisively.
Renzi probably will be asked to form a government by Napolitano but it's not yet clear whether he will be easily able to do so.
He has alienated many people on the left in his party but, as a perhaps more centrist leader, he has been able to pick up some disgruntled supporters of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Letta was sworn in last April at the head of a coalition government, formed after about three months of uncertainty following inconclusive elections.
Italy, the third largest economy in the eurozone, has had more than its share of political turmoil over recent years.
The last election to produce a leader was in 2008, when Berlusconi became Prime Minister for a third time. Since then, all the country's leaders have been appointed.
Berlusconi, a billionaire tycoon who has dominated Italian politics for two decades, was the last elected leader. He resigned in late 2011 after coming under pressure for Italy's economic woes.
Berlusconi was subsequently expelled from parliament after his conviction for tax fraud and can no longer run for office.
READ: Italian Senate votes to expel Berlusconi
CNN's Hada Messia and journalist Barbie Latza Nadeau reported from Rome, and CNN's Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London.
Part of complete coverage on
July 12, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
A makeup artist, writer and model who loves monkeys and struggles with demons.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Lionel Messi's ability is not in question -- but will the World Cup final allow him to emerge from another footballing legend's shadow?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1029 GMT (1829 HKT)
Why are Iraqi politicians dragging their feet while ISIS militants fortify their foothold across the country?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
An elephant, who was chained for 50 years, cries tears of joy after being freed in India. CNN's Sumnima Udas reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 0732 GMT (1532 HKT)
Beneath a dusty town in northeastern Pakistan, CNN explores a cold labyrinth of hidden tunnels that was once a safe haven for militants.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
CNN's Ravi Agrawal asks whether Narendra Modi can harness the country's potential to finally deliver growth.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 0444 GMT (1244 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wedeman visits the Yazji family and finds out what it's like living life in the middle of conflict.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Israel has deployed its Iron Dome defense system to halt incoming rockets. Here's how it works.
Even those who aren't in the line of fire feel the effects of the chaos that has engulfed Iraq since extremists attacked.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
Plane passengers are used to paying additional fees, but one airport in Venezuela is now charging for the ultimate hidden extra -- air.
Today's five most popular stories