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Party of Italian Communists
Secretary Oliviero Diliberto
President Antonino Cuffaro
Founded 11 October 1998
Headquarters Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 32
00186 Rome
Newspaper La Rinascita della sinistra
Membership  (2006) 40,000[1]
Ideology Communism
International affiliation none
European affiliation none
European Parliament Group European United Left–Nordic Green Left (1998–2009)
Coalition none
Politics of Italy
Political parties

The Party of Italian Communists (Partito dei Comunisti Italiani, PdCI) is a communist political party in Italy. Its long-time leader is Oliviero Diliberto.




Foundation and early years

The PdCI was founded in 1998 as a split from the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) by Armando Cossutta, the original leader of the PRC. The main reason for the split was the unwillingness of the majority the Communist Refoundation Party to participate in the operation that toppled Prodi I Cabinet. Fausto Bertinotti had kept the party in alliance with The Olive Tree coalition for two years, but was leaving because of disagreement over social policy. Leaving would have left the government without a majority in the lower house of the parliament. The issue was hotly debated in the party, and in the end a few votes, coming from the Trotskyist factions, finally decided. Soon after the party joined D'Alema I Cabinet with Oliviero Diliberto as Minister of Justice.

Most PRC MPs followed Cossutta into the new party, but the PRC secured more voters: in the 1999 European Parliament election the PdCI won 2.0% of the vote, while the PRC had the 4.3%.

Oliviero Diliberto

Diliberto, who had been elected party secretary in 2000, led the party to continue its alliance with the other parties of the centre-left for the 2001 general election, in which The Olive Tree lost to Silvio Berlusconi's House of Freedoms. The PdCI won 1.7% of the vote and a hanful of deputies and senators.

In the 2006 general election, the party was a member of the winning coalition The Union and won 16 out of 630 deputies. The Together with the Union alliance consisting of PdCI, Greens and United Consumers won 11 out of 315 senators. Since 2001 Diliberto had become the undisputed leader of the party and since 2005 clashes between him and Cossutta became frequent. In April 2007 the party president and founder finally left the party.

Out of Parliament

PdCI flag flown in Carrara (2007)

In 2006 the PdCI proposed to the PRC, the Federation of the Greens and other leftist forces (among them the brand new Democratic Left) to form a "United Left", "a left without adjectives". On 8–9 December 2007 the PdCI participated in the foundation of The Left – The Rainbow. In the 2008 general election the list gained 3.1% of the vote, thus failing to win any seats in the Italian Parliament.

On 20 July 2008 Diliberto was re-elected secretary in a national congress. In that occasion, after having declared the experience of a "united left" finished, he proposed to PRC the re-unification of the two parties and a "communist constituent assembly".[2] In the run-up to the 2009 European Parliament election PdCI is looking forward to a "communist joint list" with the PRC, Critical Left and the Workers' Communist Party, but PRC leaders are not so convinced about it, even if they did not rule out the possibility, especially if a 5% threshold will be introduced.[3][4][5]

For the 2009 European Parliament election the PdCI formed a joint list known as Anticapitalist List with the PRC, Socialism 2000 and United Consumers Originally also Critical Left was to join, but finally chose to step aside.[6] The list received just 3.4% of the national vote and failed to return any MEPs.

Soon after the election Marco Rizzo, a leading member of the party, was expelled from the party after disagreements with Diliberto and launched a new grouping called Communists – People's Left.[7]



External links


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