Luigi Di Maio, the leader of the Italy’s populist Five Star movement has announced his resignation, weakening the coalition government ahead of Sunday’s regional elections in Emilia-Romagna. His party governs Italy in coalition with the center-left Democratic Party.

Di Maio unveiled his decision at a public meeting with party officials in Rome: “Today I am here to tender my resignation as the political leader of the Five Star Movement. The moment has come for us to lay the foundations again. Today it is the end of an era. I think the government needs to go on as it is. The results will come”, he said.

The decision comes after a period of crisis in the party. However, Di Maio said he intends to remain as foreign secretary in prime minister Giuseppe Conte’s government.

The coalition of Five star and Democratic Party was also weakened by the rise of popularity of Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League party.