Democratic Party

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Posted by kaori 02/28/2009 @ 22:00

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Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico

Democratic Party logo

The Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico (PDP) (Spanish: Partido Popular Democrático de Puerto Rico, PPD) is a political party that supports Puerto Rico's right to self-determination and sovereignty, through the enhancement of Puerto Rico's current status as a commonwealth.

The PDP is one of three major registered parties in Puerto Rico, along with the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (NPP), which favors U.S. statehood, and the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP), which favors complete independence. In overall, the party received one of the biggest defeats in the electoral history of Puerto Rico during the most recent general election.

Party members are commonly called "populares".

Dissidents expelled from the Liberal Party (then led by Antonio R. Barceló), founded the PPD in 1937–1938. Many of them were part of the old socialist movement of Puerto Rico. The dissident faction, initially calling themselves the Partido Liberal, Neto, Auténtico y Completo ("Clear, Authentic and Complete Liberal Party"), was led by Luis Muñoz Marín. In 1937, the debate centred around the more moderate demands of autonomy leading to gradual independence by the Liberal Party faction led by Barcelo, and the more radical demands of immediate independence and social reform by Muñoz and his followers.

Muñoz and other "populares" legally incorporated the PDP in 1938. He intended to call the party Partido Social Democrático, but he was strongly advised not to use the word "social" in the name, as to not alienate Puerto Ricans who feared socialism as a political or economic philosophy. Appealing to the masses (and some say taking a hint from the name of Puerto Rico's most solid institution at the time, the Banco Popular de Puerto Rico), he substituted "Social" for "Popular". He inscribed the party in two towns, San Lorenzo and Culebra. Reportedly the party's first inscribed voter was a San Lorenzo resident which was 120 years old at the time.

The highest political office a Puerto Rican could be elected to in 1940 was that of president of the local Senate. The governor of Puerto Rico was named directly by the president of the United States (some say as a personal favor to the acting president's political supporters), and as such, no locals were named to the post until 1946. In the 1940 election the PDP finished in a dead heat with the Liberal Party; Muñoz then brokered an alliance with minor Puerto Rican factions as to secure his position as Senate president. Later elections in 1944 and 1948 resulted in increasing victory margins for the PDP; at a time almost all legislative posts and mayoral races in Puerto Rico were won by PDP candidates.

Once Jesús T. Piñero stepped down as the first Puerto Rican named governor, the governor's office became an elected position. In 1949, under the leadership of Luis Muñoz Marín, the PPD won the first gubernatorial elections in Puerto Rico, and Muñoz became first elected governor of the island. He then initiated the longest continuous rule by a governor in Puerto Rican history (four 4-year terms, for a total of 16 years), only surpassed by one of the former governors under Spanish rule, Miguel de la Torre.

During the 1950s, Luis Muñoz Marín remained as Puerto Rican governor. In 1952 he assumed the responsibility of pushing forward P.R.'s constitution's creation. On July 25, 1952 the constitution was established. He also pushed his political platform called Operation Bootstrap (Operación Manos a la Obra) in which he transformed Puerto Rico's economy in to an industrial economy. Teodoro Moscoso was in charge of the project.

In 1964, PDP candidate Roberto Sánchez Vilella had become the second governor to be democratically elected in Puerto Rico. The party remained in power until 1968, when Luis A. Ferré, of the then newly found New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (PNP), won the elections due to the PDP's big division of 1968. This Division happened because the PDP's founder, Luis Muñoz Marín, had personal and irreconcilable differences with then current governor, Roberto Sánchez Vilella. Luis Muñoz Marín opposed Sánchez Vilella's attempt to run for reelection and at a party assembly he nominated his new candidate for governor Luis Negrón López. This caused a deep division in the PDP causing Sánchez Vilella to create a new party called Partido del Pueblo (Peoples Party), whose motto said "let the people decide" (que el pueblo decida), this motto was obviously directed towards Luis Muñoz Marín who denied Sánchez Vilella a primary. Sánchez Vilella ran under his new party and Negrón López under the PDP this caused the PDP's votes to split, thus giving Luis A. Ferré of the NPP (New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico) the win and the PDP's first defeat in a general election.

In 1972 the PDP had renovated it self and had a young and fresh leader in former senate president Rafael Hernández Colón. After 1968's electoral defeat Muñoz Marín felt so guilty and responsible for his party's loss that he decided to exile in Italy to stay away from local politics and let the party renovate. Muñoz Marín returned to Puerto Rico only to present the new leader of the party and new candidate for governor Rafael Hernández Colón in front of 300,000 persons in Hato Rey at a party meeting. In the 1972 general election Hernández Colón defeated Ferré by a wide margin and his party won in all but 4 municipalities. However, this was a briefly lived victory for the party, because in 1976, NPP candidate and then San Juan mayor, Carlos Romero Barceló, defeated Colón.

In 1980, the PDP threatened once again, with Rafael Hernández Colón as candidate. This elections were very controversial as the PDP's followers alleged that there were a lot of irregularities during the vote counting. One of the things that raised a red flag was that the power went out during the night while results coming in were favoring Hernández Colón and when the power came back the results started favoring Romero Barceló. The Populars were crying fraud thus giving birth to Hernandez Colón's famous phrase "Populares a defender esos votos a las trincheras de la lucha" (Populars we'll fight for those votes in the trenches). After a recount Romero Barceló ended winning by 3,000 votes.

In 1984, Hernández Colón once again became governor defeating his long time political rival Carlos Romero Barceló of the NPP. His second term was marked by his successful fight to keep the Law 936 running. The PDP helped establishing the law, which dictates that American companies can be allowed to operate in Puerto Rico with tax cuts.

In 1988, Hernández Colón was re-elected by a comfortable margin. This election saw the controersial debate between Hernández Colón and NPP adversary Corrada del Río, in which Hernández Colón surprised Corrada by arriving unexpected at his own debate. That same year Héctor Luis Acevedo, the PDP's candidate for mayor in San Juan, won the election for that position by only forty-nine votes. It was also the year that Santos Ortiz, a.k.a "El Negro", mayor of Cabo Rojo, left the party. "El Negro" went on to become the first person not affiliated with any of the three major parties in Puerto Rico to win an elective position in the country when he retained his seat as mayor as an independent candidate.

In 1992, after Colón decided not to run for governor again, the PDP elected Victoria Muñoz Mendoza, daughter of Luis Muñoz Marín, to run for governor. She became the first woman in Puerto Rican history to run for governor, but she lost the election to Pedro Rosselló. In 1996, Héctor Luis Acevedo ran for governor, but once again, the PDP candidate lost to Roselló, who received over a million votes. The PDP, however, won the second most important position in the country which is the San Juan mayor seat with Sila María Calderón.

The opposition party NPP led two campaigns for Puerto Rican statehood in 1993 and 1998 in which locally-enacted plebiscites were held to consult the Puerto Rican public on the political status with the United States. In 1993 the PDP campaigned in favor of the status quo Commonwealth, while the opposition campaigned for the annexation or statehood of Puerto Rico to the United States. The Commonwealth defended by the PDP was victorious with 48% of the votes. In 1998, Governor Dr. Pedro Rosselló carried out a non-binding plebiscite which gave electors four options and a fifth None of the Above column. The Popular Democratic Party led a campaign to boycott the plebiscite and called the electorate to vote for the None of the Above column. The boycott was successful, as the None of the Above column garnered more votes than all of the other options. Rosselló argued before Congress that statehood had won the plebiscite as he later said that the Fifth column was an invalid vote.

In 2000, Sila María Calderón regained the governor's seat for the PDP, beating NPP's candidate Carlos Ignacio Pesquera, and Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) candidate Ruben Berrios.

When Calderón announced that she would not be running for governor in 2004 she proposed José Alfredo Hernández Mayoral, son of Rafael Hernández Colón, as the new candidate for governor. Two months after Calderón named Hernández Mayoral as head of the party he resigned and retired from political life because of his son's alleged health problems, but it remains a mystery whether this was the real reason. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá then emerged as the new candidate for Governor as he was the current Resident Commissioner and a former Party President. Acevedo Vilá was victorious in the elections of 2004 against a former Governor, Dr. Pedro Rosselló, by a margin of 3,556 votes, thus becoming the fifth Governor from Popular Democratic Party. He took oath in January 2, 2005.

Acevedo Vilá will run for reelection against the NPP President, Luis Fortuño, in the November 4, 2008 general elections.

On March 27, 2008 Anibal Acevedo Vila was indicted with a total of 24 federal counts ranging from conspiracy to wire fraud relating to the Governor's campaign finances when he was acting Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico in the US Congress.

Anibal Acevedo Vilá lost the November 4, 2008 general elections by more than 223,000 votes. Two days later he resigned from the presidency of the Popular Democratic Party. The PDP Executive Director, Anibal Jose Torres, resigned as well.

The PDP's political ideals call for a Puerto Rico that is sovereign while it holds autonomous in some areas delegated to the United States. For example, Puerto Rico law and some aspects of taxation are managed locally by a tripartite system of state government. Custom duties and foreign treaties remain in the hands of the federal government. In addition, Puerto Rican law remains under the purview of Congress (where Puerto Ricans do not have any full-fledged voting representatives), and must concord with the United States Constitution.

The PPD's outlook has trended towards gaining further autonomy and local control over the external relationships of the island. In the eyes of the PPD, Puerto Rico should be viewed more as a country and not a state of the American union. For example, Puerto Rico has its own Olympic Games representation, a majority language (Spanish), and unique culture.

The PPD approved in their 2007 convention the new philosophy and ideal that the party will defend. The new approved philosophy consists in that the Popular Democratic Party will defend a political status for the island that is based in the irrevocable sovereignty of the country of Puerto Rico. This caused surprise among detractors since the party was known before for being conservative and defenders of the commonwealth status as it is.

On January 8, 2007, Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá stated that he intends to garner support to have the political status of Puerto Rico be considered before the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN); he also informed that he expected that support from inside and outside of Puerto Rico, as well as within and beyond his Popular Democratic Party (PPD).

The Associated Press reported that Governor Acevedo Vilá announced that "We have started negotiations with other sectors of Puerto Rico, to see in what way we can accelerate that issue and achieve more allies at the UN".

The PDP uses as a logo the silhouette of a rural farm worker wearing a straw hat, with the words "pan, tierra, libertad" (bread, land, freedom in English). The party logo was designed by Antonio Colorado (The Elder), one of Muñoz's staff members at the PDP and an eventual cabinet member when Muñoz became governor. Since "Colorado" is Spanish slang for the color red, Colorado laid a personal touch to the logo by painting it red. The party's strong association to the color red stands to this day.

The PDP is also unique in Puerto Rican politics in its use of an anthem. "Jalda Arriba" was written by Johnny Rodriguez, a famous Puerto Rican singer, composer and club owner who was also the elder brother of one of Puerto Rico's most famous international singers, Tito Rodríguez. Johnny wrote it in 1942, and gave its score to the PDP as a gift in deep admiration of the party's philosophy. The melody of the song strongly resembles that of a later composition, the theme song for the Anthony Quinn movie The Secret of Santa Vittoria, which is a tarantella. The song is such a strong identifier of the party that even a version featuring the Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra exists.

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Democratic Party of Japan

Democratic Party of Japan Logo

The Democratic Party of Japan (民主党, Minshutō?) is a social liberal political party in Japan founded in 1998 by the merger of several smaller parties. It is the second-largest party in the House of Representatives and the largest party in the House of Councillors, and it constitutes the primary opposition to the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party.

It is not to be confused with the now-defunct Japan Democratic Party that merged with the Liberal Party in 1955 to form the Liberal Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was formed on April 27, 1998. It was a merger of four previously independent parties that were opposed to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)—the previous Democratic Party of Japan, the Good Governance Party (民政党, Minseitō), the New Fraternity Party (新党友愛, Shintō-Yuuai), and the Democratic Reform Party (民主改革連合, Minshu-Kaikaku-Rengō). These were all new parties that were either liberal or social-democratic. The new party began with ninety-three members of the House of Representatives and thirty-eight members of the House of Councilors. Moreover, the party officials were elected as well at the party convention for the first time; Naoto Kan, former Health and Welfare Minister was appointed as President of the party and Tsutomu Hata, former Prime Minister of 1994 as Secretary-General.

In 2001, the DPJ elected Japan's first European and foreign-born Diet member, Marutei Tsurunen (born Martti Turunen in Finland), showing its anti-traditionalism and liberalism. The party grew and won a significant number of seats in the 2000 and 2001 Diet elections.

On September 24, 2003, the party formally merged with the small, centre-right Liberal Party led by Ichirō Ozawa—the move was largely considered to be done in preparation for the election on November 9, 2003. This move immediately gave the DPJ eight more seats in the House of Councilors.

In the elections themselves, the Democrats gained a total of 178 seats. This was short of their objectives, but nevertheless a significant demonstration of the new group's strength. Following a pension scandal, Naoto Kan resigned, and was replaced with a moderate liberal—Katsuya Okada.

In the 2004 House of Councilors elections, the DPJ won a seat more than the ruling Liberal Democrats, but the LDP still maintained its firm majority in total votes. However, this was an extremely important outcome, since it was the first time since its inception that the LDP had garnered fewer votes than another party. Pundits hypothesized that this might signal a shift in Japanese politics away from the catch-all LDP. It remained to be seen, however, whether or not this was simply the result of protest votes against the LDP, who had been rocked by the national pension scandal earlier that year.

The 2005 snap parliamentary elections called by Junichiro Koizumi in response to the rejection of his Japan Post privatization bill saw a major setback to the DPJ's plans of obtaining a majority in the Diet. The DPJ leadership, particularly Okada, had staked their reputation on winning the election and driving the LDP from power. When the final results were in, the DPJ had lost 62 seats, mostly to its rival the LDP, which had been steadily losing seats for many years. Okada resigned the party leadership, fulfilling his campaign promise to do so if the DPJ did not obtain a majority in the Diet. He was replaced by Seiji Maehara in September 2005.

However, Maehara's term as party leader lasted barely half a year. Although he initially led the party's criticism of the Koizumi administration, particularly in regards to connections between LDP lawmakers and scandal-ridden Livedoor, the revelation that a fake email was used to try and establish this link greatly damaged his credibility. The scandal led to the resignation of Representative Hisayasu Nagata and of Maehara as party leader on March 31st. New elections for party leader were held on April 7, in which Ichirō Ozawa was elected President.

In Upper House election 2007, the DPJ won 60 out of 121 contested seats, with 49 seats not up to the election, causing the LDP to lose its majority in the upper house for the first time since its inception.

The Democratic Party finds that a free market economic system is favorable for Japanese people's welfare. The claim is that they represent "citizens, taxpayers and consumers", not seeking to favor either free market or the welfare state and see the government's role as limited to building the necessary system for self-reliant and independent individuals.

The Democratic Party seeks to introduce transparency of government and a decentralization of government agencies to local organizational structures including to let citizens themselves provide former government services and have a society with more just and fair rules. The Democratic party proclaims to hold the values in the meaning of the constitution to "embody the fundamental principles of the Constitution: popular sovereignty, respect for fundamental human rights, and pacifism.", having an international-policy non-intervention and mutual coexistence and to restore the world's trust in Japan.

The Independent’s Club, a liberal centrist faction which sits with the Democratic Party in both chambers of the house, is not a separate political entity, yet part of the Democratic Party (not a faction or group) which calls itself the Independent’s Club.

The largest and most influential faction is the Hatoyama Faction. Former party president Katsuya Okada sits with no faction, yet he supports the Kan Group.

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Democratic Party (Italy)

Democratic Party (Italy) logo.png

The Democratic Party (Partito Democratico, PD) is a centre-left Italian political party.

It was founded on 14 October 2007 as a merger of various left-wing and centrist parties which were part of the The Union in the 2006 general election. Several parties merged into the Democratic Party, however its bulk is formed by former members of the Democrats of the Left and Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy.

The first leader of the party was Walter Veltroni (Deputy Prime Minister and Culture Minister in 1996–1998, leader of the Democrats of the Left in 1998–2001 and Mayor of Rome in 2001–2008), who was elected secretary in an open primary. After leading the party to a number of electoral defeats, the latest being in the 2009 Sardinian regional election, Veltroni resigned as leader on 17 February 2009. The Constituent Assembly subsequently convened on 21 February 2009 and elected Dario Franceschini as the new secretary.

In the early 1990s, following Tangentopoli, the end of the so-called First Republic and the disbandment of the Italian Communist Party, a process started which aimed to join the moderate left-wing forces of Italian politics into a single political entity. This process caused the entering of Romano Prodi (formerly close to the left-wing of the Christian Democrats) into national politics and the creation of the The Olive Tree, a centre-left coalition including: the Democratic Party of the Left, the Italian People's Party, the Federation of the Greens, Italian Renewal, the Italian Socialists, Democratic Union. The coalition, allied with the Communist Refoundation Party, won the 1996 general election.

Later steps transformed the Democratic Party of the Left into the Democrats of the Left, with the merging of other centre-left parties, in 1998 and centrists in the coalition to form Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy, in 2002. This was born by the merger of the Italian People's Party, The Democrats, launched by Romano Prodi in 1999 with a centre-left platform, and Italian Renewal. In the 2001 general election these three parties, alongside with UDEUR Populars, formed an electoral alliance under the leadership of Francesco Rutelli, then Prime Ministerial candidate for The Olive Tree coalition, and then transformed it into a single centrist party, without the participation of UDEUR Populars.

In the summer of 2003, Romano Prodi suggested that the centre-left forces participate in the 2004 European Parliament election with a common list. Whereas the UDEUR Populars and the far left parties refused the offer, four parties accepted it: the Democrats of the Left, Democracy is Freedom, the Italian Democratic Socialists and the European Republicans Movement. They launched a joint-list named "United in the Olive Tree" which ran in the election, scoring 31.1% nationally. The project was later abandoned in 2005 by the Italian Democratic Socialists, which preferred to run in an alliance, the Rose in the Fist, with the Italian Radicals. In the 2006 general election, the Olive Tree list ran only for the Chamber of Deputies, obtaining 31.3%.

The 2006 election result, together with the success of the 2005 centre-left primary election, in which over four million voters formally endorsed Prodi as Prime Minister candidate, gave a push to the project of a unified centre-left party. Since then, Francesco Rutelli and Piero Fassino, party leaders of Democracy is Freedom and the Democrats of the Left, scheduled their party conventions for April 2007 in order to formally approve the merger.

On 19 April 2007 the Democrats of the Left held their last party congress, since approximately 75% of party members voted in support of the creation of the Democratic Party as soon as possible, while the left-wing minority, led by Minister Fabio Mussi and opposed to the project, obtained circa 15% of the support within the party. A third motion, presented by Gavino Angius and supportive of the Democratic Party only within the Party of European Socialists, obtained 10% of votes. During and following the Democrats of the Left national convention, both Mussi and Angius announced their intention not to join the Democratic Party and founded a new leftist party called Democratic Left more keen on uniting the far left under a united banner. This ultimately led Angius to abandon the new party in favour of the creation of a much moderate social-democratic party with the Italian Democratic Socialists, the Socialist Party.

On 22 May 2007 the list of members of the Organizing Committee of the Democratic Party was announced: it featured 45 politicians, mainly from the two major parties involved in the process, but also including external figures such as Marco Follini, Ottaviano Del Turco, Luciana Sbarbati, Renato Soru, Giuliano Amato, Gad Lerner and Tullia Zevi. On 18 June the Committee met to decide the rules for the open election of the 2,400 members of the Constituting Assembly. Prodi announced each voter would have chosen between a number of lists, each of them associated with a candidate leader; the assembly would then have elected the first leader in a Founding Convention, scheduled on 14 October.

All candidates interested in running for the Democratic Party leadership must have presented at least 2,000 valid signatures not later than 30 July 2007. All candidates must also be associated with the Democratic Party project, as either members of the political subjects forming it or with no party association at all.

On the 30 July deadline, a total of ten candidates officially registered their candidacy: Walter Veltroni, Rosy Bindi, Enrico Letta, Furio Colombo, Marco Pannella, Antonio Di Pietro, Mario Adinolfi, Pier Giorgio Gawronski, Jacopo Gavazzoli Schettini, Lucio Cangini and Amerigo Rutigliano. Of these, Pannella and Di Pietro were stopped because of their involvement in external parties, whereas Cangini and Rutigliano did not manage to present the necessary 2,000 valid signatures for the 9pm deadline, and Colombo's candidacy was instead made into hiatus in order to give him 48 additional hours to integrate the required documentation; Colombo later decided to retire his candidacy citing his impossibility to fit with all the requirements. All rejected candidates had the chance against the decision in 48 hours' time, with Pannella and Rutigliano being the only two candidates to appeal against it. Both were rejected on 3 August.

On 14 October 2007 Veltroni was elected leader with circa 75% of the national votes in an open primary attended by over three million voters. Veltroni was officially crowned as first Democratic Party secretary during the founding constituting assembly held in Milan on 28 October 2007.

On 21 November, the new logo was unveiled; it depicts the party acronym (PD) with colours reminiscent of the Italian tricolour flag (green, white and red) and featuring also the olive branch, historical symbol of the Olive Tree. In the words of Ermete Realacci, green represents the ecologist and social-liberal cultures, white is for the Catholic solidarity and red for the socialist and social-democratic traditions.

After the premature fall of Prodi II Cabinet in January 2008, the party decided run in the next election alone or at the head of a less diverse coalition. The party proposed to the Radicals and the Socialist Party to join its lists, but only the Radicals accepted, while forming an alliance with Italy of Values (IdV), under the promise that that party would have joined the PD after the election. The party included many notable candidates and new faces in its lists and Walter Veltroni, who tried to present the PD as the party of the renewal in contrast both with Silvio Berlusconi and the previous centre-left government, ran an intense and modern campaign, which led him to visit all provinces of Italy, but that was not enough.

In the 2008 general election the PD–IdV coalition won 37.5% of the vote and was defeated by the centre-right coalition, composed of The People of Freedom, Lega Nord and the Movement for Autonomy (46.8%). The PD was able to absorbe some votes from the parties of the far left (as also IdV did), but lost some voters to the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC), ending up with 33.2% of the vote, 217 deputies and 119 senators. After the election Veltroni, who was anyway gratified by the result, formed a shadow cabinet, including most party leading figures. IdV, excited by its 4.4% which made it the fourth largest party in Parliament, refused to join both the Democratic groups in Parliament and the shadow cabinet.

The early months after the elections were someway difficult for the PD and Veltroni himself, whose leadership was weakened by the growth of internal factions, because of the popularity of Berlusconi and the dramatic rise of IdV, which sometimes openly criticized the PD, in opinion polls. IdV became a strong competitor of the PD and the relations between the two parties became tense. In the run-up to the regional election in Abruzzo, where IdV, whose leader Antonio Di Pietro comes from neighbouring Molise, is expected to make gains, PD later agreed to support IdV candidate Carlo Costantini. In October 2008 Veltroni, who distanced from Di Pietro many times, declared that "on some issues he is distant from the democratic language of the centre-left".

The 2009 European Parliament election will be an important test for the PD. If a new electoral law containing a threshold is approved, the PD is likely give hospitality to the Socialist Party and the Greens in its lists, and proposed a similar pact to Democratic Left. This could mean the beginning of a "new centre-left" and of an enlargement of the party. However, a recent opinion poll puts the PD at 28%, while IdV is around 8%.

The Democratic Party is a social-democratic party, strongly influenced by the ideas of the Christian left. The party stresses national and social cohesion, green issues, social liberalism and Europeanism. In this respect the party and its precursors had always supported fiscal conservatism, modelled on the management of the economy by Bill Clinton, and the need of balancing budgets in order to comply to Maastricht criteria. Recently, under the leadership of Veltroni, the party took a strong stance in favour of constitutional reforms and of a new electoral law, on the road toward a two-party system.

The foundation of the Democratic Party is called into question by various cases of infighting among the prospective members of the new party; the discussion on which European political party to join also seems to be far from solved, with some parties being in favour of the Party of European Socialists (e.g. the Democrats of the Left) and some in favour of the European Democratic Party (e.g. Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy).

Although not officially recognized, the Democratic Party has several internal factions, most of whom trace the previous allegiances of party members. These groups united themselves to form lists for the election of the Constituent Assembly of the party in October.

Three lists supported the candidacy of Walter Veltroni. The bulk of the former Democrats of the Left (Veltroniani, Dalemiani, Fassiniani), the Rutelliani of Francesco Rutelli (including the Theo-Dem), The Populars of Franco Marini, those who are now known as Liberal PD, the Social Christians and smaller groups (including Middle-of-the-Road Italy, European Republicans Movement, Reformist Alliance and the Reformists for Europe) formed a joint-list named "Democrats with Veltroni". The Democratic Ecologists of Ermete Realacci, together with the followers of Giovanna Melandri and Cesare Damiano, formed the "Environment, Innovation and Labour", while the Democrats, Laicists, Socialists, Say Left and the Labourites – Liberal Socialists presented a list named "To the Left".

The Ulivists, a group closely linked to Romano Prodi, divided between those supporting Rosy Bindi, as Arturo Parisi, and the supporters of Enrico Letta, as Paolo De Castro. Bindi received also the endorsement of Agazio Loiero and his Southern Democratic Party, while Letta the support of Lorenzo Dellai and his Daisy Civic List, Renato Soru and his Sardinia Project, and Gianni Pittella.

Moreover also two small parties can be considered as associate parties of the PD and in fact their MPs are members of the Democratic caucuses in the Chamber and the Senate: the Italian Radicals and the Moderates for Piedmont.

The electoral results of the Democratic Party in the 10 most populated Regions of Italy are shown in the table below. As PD was founded in 2007, the electoral results from 1994 to 2006 refer to the combined result of the two main percursor parties, the Democrats of the Left and Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy (and its preursors, 1994-2001), or to the joint-list called The Olive Tree.

The term Partito Democratico was first used in the Regional Council of Veneto, where the Democrats of the Left and Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy form a joint parliamentary group called L'Ulivo – Partito Democratico Veneto (The Olive Tree – Venetian Democratic Party).

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Source : Wikipedia