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The Christian Democratic Centre (Centro Cristiano Democratico, CCD) was a Christian-democratic political party in Italy.

History

The party emerged from a split from Italian People's Party (PPI), direct heir of the Christian Democracy (DC), in 1994. Its leader were Pier Ferdinando Casini and Clemente Mastella who advocated an alliance with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI), while the PPI advocated a centrist alliance with Patto Segni, the Pact for Italy. The CCD represented the right-wing of the old DC, while the PPI was largely the heir of the party's left-wing, especially after the split of the United Christian Democrats (CDU) in 1995.

In the 1994 general election the CCD joined FI into the Pole of Freedoms in Northern Italy and the Pole of Good Government in Southern Italy, forming a joint list with FI for the proportional system and gaining 27 deputies and 12 senators. After the election the CCD joined Berlusconi I Cabinet with Clemente Mastella becoming Minister of Labour and Francesco D'Onofrio Minister of Education.

After the sudden fall of Berlusconi in December 1994, when Lega Nord left the government majority, a new general election took place in 1996. The CCD formed a joint list with the CDU. The alliance proved successful, gaining 5.8% of the vote, 30 deputies and 15 senators, however, as the centre-right lost the election to The Olive Tree centre-left coalition, the party remained into opposition.

In 1998 Clemente Mastella and several other MPs left the party to form, along with the CDU, the Democratic Union for the Republic (UDR), that came into support to the centre-left government. In 1999 the UDR was transformed into the Union of Democrats for Europe (UDEUR) and the CDU re-organized themselves as a party, returing back to the alliance with the CCD.

Once again CCD and CDU formed an alliance for the 2001 general election, this time gaining only 3.2% of the vote, as part of the winning House of Freedoms coalition composed mainly of Forza Italia, National Alliance and Lega Nord. In 2002 the CCD, the CDU and European Democracy (DE) formally merged into one party, the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC).

Leadership

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