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Democrats of the Left
It was founded in 1991, with the name PDS (Partito Democratico della Sinistra), after the reshaping of the Partito Comunista Italiano into a moderate-left political party. Its first secretary was Achille Occhetto, who left office in 1994, after the defeat in national and european elections against the right-wing coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi.
The current secretary is Piero Fassino, elected by the 61,8% of party members votes during the second National Congress in november 2001. Piero Fassino was the candidate of a mainstream Third Way tendency. The candidacy of Giovanni Berlinguer, endorsed by radical democrats, democratic socialists and the CGIL trade union, gained 34,1% of party members votes. The right wing of the party, lead by Enrico Morando , gained the 4,1%.
Piero Fassino has been re-elected during the third National Congress, in february 2005, by the 79,1% of party members votes. No other candidates were present, but left-wing candidates ran for congressional delegates with a 14,56% of party members votes won by the DS Left - returning to win, 3,98% by the DS Left for socialism and 2,36% by the Ecologist Left.
The left-wing opposition is lead by the DS Left - returning to win (Italian: Sinistra DS - per tornare a vincere), a left-of-Third Way democratic socialist tendency. Others in left-wing opposition are the smaller DS Left for socialism (Italian: Sinistra DS per il socialismo), left-wing democratic socialists, and the Ecologist Left (Italian: Sinistra Ecologista), left-wing environmentalists.
The core of the social democratic party majority isn't related to a specific tendency association, although several smaller movements, splits of former centrist or center-left italian parties, relate to it. These are the Labourists - Liberal Socialists (Italian: Laburisti - Socialisti Liebrali), the Reformist Europe (Italian: Europa Riformista) and the sicilian Reformist Movement (Italian: Movimento Riformista) all from Italian Socialist Party , the Republican Left (Italian: Sinistra Repubblicana) from Italian Republican Party and the Social Christians (Italian: Cristiano Sociali) from the left-wing of Democrazia Cristiana.
Inside the party, there is often a somewhat simplistic distinction between reformers (riformisti) and radicals (massimalisti), indicating respectively the mainstream or the left-wing area, also called correntone.
List of party secretaries
- 1991-1994 Achille Occhetto
- 1994-1998 Massimo D'Alema
- 1998-2001 Walter Veltroni
- since 2001 Piero Fassino
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