Achille Occhetto

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Achille Occhetto
Achille Occhetto.jpg
General Secretary of the
Italian Communist Party
In office
10 June 1988 – 3 January 1991
Preceded by Alessandro Natta
Succeeded by Position abolished
Secretary of the
Democratic Party of the Left
In office
8 February 1991 – 14 June 1994
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Massimo D'Alema
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
5 July 1976 – 29 May 2001
Constituency Piedmont
Member of the Senate of the Republic
In office
30 May 2001 – 27 April 2006
Personal details
Born 3 March 1936
Turin, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party Left Ecology Freedom
(Since 2009)
Other political
Communist Party
Democratic Party of the Left
Democrats of the Left
Democratic Left
Spouse(s) Elisa Kadigia Bove
Religion None[1]

Achille Occhetto (Italian pronunciation: [aˈkille okˈketto]; born 3 March 1936), is an Italian political figure. He served as the last secretary-general of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) between 1988 and 1991, and the first leader of the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS), the democratic socialist successor of the PCI, from 1991 to 1994.


Occhetto was born in Turin. He is married to the activist and former actress Elisa Kadigia Bove. They have two boys, Malcolm and Massimiliano, both of whom were born in Sicily.[2]

He served as secretary of the Italian Communist Youth Federation (to which he had belonged starting from 1953) from 1963 to 1966 and, subsequently, as regional secretary of the Italian Communist Party in Sicily, distinguishing himself for his war against any kind of mafia.

Appointed in 1986 as national coordinator of the PCI, he became then the party leader in 1988, succeeding to Alessandro Natta. During his secretarship, the party witnessed the collapse of both the Berlin wall and the communist regime in the Soviet Union. He therefore declared the communist experience as over, and dissolved the PCI in order to form a new party, the PDS, characterized by a progressive left-wing stance.

This political shift (known in Italian politics as the Svolta della Bolognina[3]) was accepted by approximately 70% of the communist members at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party (8 February 1991).

In 1994, he challenged and was defeated by Silvio Berlusconi in the 1994 election, leading the Alliance of Progressives; because of this negative result he then quit the party secretaryship.

He came actively back in politics for the 2004 European elections, being elected to the European Parliament on a joint ticket with anti-corruption campaigner Antonio Di Pietro, but he immediately resigned to be replaced by Giulietto Chiesa. After the 2006 General election he returned to the European Parliament by taking up one of the seats vacated by an elected Deputy, and sits as an Independent member of the Party of European Socialists group.

In 2009, he joined the new left-wing formation Left Ecology Freedom.

He is an atheist.[4]


  1. ^ Maria Latella, "Occhetto: pecca chi vota i vecchi DC", Il Corriere della Sera, 28 January 1994, p. 2.
  2. ^ Biography|Achille Occhetto (in Italian)
  3. ^ The name derives from the celebration of a partisan battle in World War II, during which he announced that the Communist Party could change name.
  4. ^ Maria Latella, "Occhetto: pecca chi vota i vecchi DC", Il Corriere della Sera, 28 January 1994, p. 2.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Alessandro Natta
General Secretary of the
Italian Communist Party

Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
Position established
Secretary of the
Democratic Party of the Left

Succeeded by
Massimo D'Alema