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.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
A captured fighter tells CNN's Ivan Watson: "They gave us drugs... that made you go to battle."
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 1331 GMT (2131 HKT)
A terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life checks off the last item.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 2340 GMT (0740 HKT)
In a plot straight out of Hollywood, federal agents gain access to a suspected Triad boss' Vegas hotel room by pretending to fix the Internet connection.
October 31, 2014 -- Updated 0434 GMT (1234 HKT)
Was it only black and Latino men who harassed a woman in NYC? The filmmaker has found himself in a race controversy.
October 31, 2014 -- Updated 2152 GMT (0552 HKT)
The history of human rights often overlooks the struggles of gay people. This must change.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0115 GMT (0915 HKT)
Armed with Kalashnikovs and chanting for the dead comrades, women are among ISIS' most feared enemies. They are fighting for their families -- and now they are getting U.S. help.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1246 GMT (2046 HKT)
Lere Mgayiya put his best foot forward and set up a shoe-shine firm after his career plans fell flat.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0528 GMT (1328 HKT)
One Chinese drone manufacturer wants to take away the warmongering stigma of "drones."
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0312 GMT (1112 HKT)
Sketcher Luis Simoes is traveling the world -- slowly. And he's packed his sketchbook.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 2043 GMT (0443 HKT)
European states help North Korea's brutal treatment of its people by allowing luxury goods like cars and cognacs to evade sanctions, two experts say.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 31, 2014 -- Updated 1104 GMT (1904 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.