Free and Equal (Italy)
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Free and Equal Italy

Free and Equal (Italian: Liberi e Uguali, LeU) is a left-wing federation of parties in Italy, launched on 3 December 2017 by the Democratic and Progressive Movement, Italian Left and Possible.

The leader of the alliance is Pietro Grasso, former President of the Senate and former anti-Mafia prosecutor.

History

Background

Since the 2013 leadership election of the Democratic Party (PD), which saw the election of centrist Matteo Renzi as secretary, the party was riven by an internal struggle between Renzi's large majority (composed of Renziani, assorted centrists and moderate social democrats) and the left-wing factions, which were very critical of Renzi, his government (2014-2016) and his proposed constitutional reform, which was finally voted down in a constitutional referendum in December 2016.

After the splits of Possible (P) and Future to the Left (FaS), the PD's internal left was led by Enrico Rossi (leader of the Democratic Socialists faction and President of Tuscany) and Roberto Speranza (leader of Reformist Area and former PD leader in the Chamber of Deputies). These were backed by former DS or PD leaders Massimo D'Alema, Pier Luigi Bersani and Guglielmo Epifani. Rossi and Speranza criticised Renzi all the line and were initially joined by Michele Emiliano, President of Apulia.[5][6] On 25 February 2017 the dissidents, except Emiliano (who stayed with the PD and unsuccessfully challenged Renzi in the leadership election), and a group of SI splinters led by Arturo Scotto launched the Democratic and Progressive Movement (MDP), a month after the merger of Left Ecology Freedom (SEL), FaS and minor groups into Italian Left (SI).

Road to the new alliance

Soon after the foundation of the MDP, Roberto Speranza (MDP coordinator), Nicola Fratoianni (SI secretary) and Giuseppe Civati (P secretary) discussed the opportunity of forming a left-wing coalition, alternative to the centre-left led by the PD, the centre-right and the Five Star Movement.[7] For some time, also the Progressive Camp - whose leader Giuliano Pisapia was seen as a possible joint leader of the left - and the Federation of the Greens seemed interested, but finally chose to side with the PD.

In November 2017 Sicilian regional election, the three left-wing parties, along with the Communist Refoundation Party, other parties and groups, ran in a joint list named "One Hundred Steps for Sicily" with Claudio Fava for President. Fava won 6.2% of the vote, the list 5.2% and only Fava was elected regional deputy.[8]

On 3 December 2017, during a convention in Rome, the MDP-SI-P alliance was officially established as Free and Equal (LeU) and Pietro Grasso, President of the Senate and former anti-Mafia prosecutor, was appointed leader and candidate for Prime Minister in the 2018 general election.[9][10][11][12] A few weeks later also Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies (who had been elected as an independent of SEL in 2013), joined LeU.[13][14][15]

2018 general election

LeU obtained 3.4% of the vote in the election, well below expectations[16][17] and opinion polls, and elected 14 deputies and 4 senators.

Composition

Current members

Former member

Party Main ideology Leader
Possible (P) Progressivism Beatrice Brignone

Other participating members

Election results

Italian Parliament

Chamber of Deputies
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/- Leader
2018 1,114,799 (#6) 3.39
-
Pietro Grasso
Senate of the Republic
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/- Leader
2018 991,159 (#6) 3.28
-
Pietro Grasso

Regional Councils

Region Last election # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/-
Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2018 11,748 (#10) 2.78
Increase 1
Lombardy 2018 111,296 (#7) 2.12
-
Lazio 2018 88,416 (#8) 3.48
Increase 1
Molise 2018 4,784 (#10) 3.39
-
Sicily 2017 100,583 (#9) 5.23
Increase 1

References

  1. ^ Cambia nome, ma è sempre socialdemocrazia
  2. ^ a b c Nordsieck, Wolfram (2018). "Italy". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Iniziativa sul socialismo organizzata da LEU
  4. ^ "Leu: Rossi, nostro compito è costruire partito ispirato a socialismo". Adnkronos. 7 January 2018.
  5. ^ "La contro-assemblea di Emiliano, Rossi e Speranza: "Insieme sabato a Roma". La minoranza andrà da Renzi domenica". 15 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Pd, la minoranza sfida Renzi. Guerini ribatte: "Ultimatum non ricevibili"". 18 February 2017.
  7. ^ "RICOMINCIO DA TRE". 11 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Dal comitato di Fava: "Soddisfazione per il superamento della soglia di sbarramento del 5%"".
  9. ^ "Liberi e uguali, Grasso: 'Ecco la nuova sinistra' - Politica". 3 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Sinistra, Grasso lancia 'Liberi e uguali': "Pd mi ha offerto incarichi ma i calcoli non fanno per me"". 3 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Pietro Grasso sarà il leader della sinistra - Il Post". 3 December 2017.
  12. ^ "il manifesto". ilmanifesto.it.
  13. ^ Politica, Redazione. "Boldrini al fianco di Grasso in Liberi e Uguali: «Saremo il nuovo centrosinistra» Video".
  14. ^ "Boldrini annuncia la sua candidatura con "Liberi e uguali": "E' il momento di scegliere la strada"". 22 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Il partito dei presidenti". 22 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Grasso lancia la "Cosa rossa". D'Alema: "Puntiamo al 10%""".
  17. ^ LeU, D'Alema: "Puntiamo a risultato a due cifre, niente inciuci" agi.it. 21 January, 2018.


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