Doctors say Pier Luigi Bersani, a longtime Italian center-left leader who tried but failed to form a government after Italy's inconclusive 2013 election, has suffered a brain hemorrhage.

The University of Parma hospital said Bersani was undergoing surgery late Sunday after the source of the hemorrhage was located. It said he had been hospitalized earlier in the day but remained conscious.

Bersani, a former Communist, had been the leading contender going into Italy's February election, riding a wave of popular discontent with conservative Silvio Berlusconi's antics and scandals. But the vote proved inconclusive and Bersani was unable to form a government.

He eventually was forced to resign as leader of the Democratic Party. After a two-month stalemate, Italy's president appointed Enrico Letta premier.