Italian Socialist Party (2007)
|Italian Socialist Party
Partito Socialista Italiano
|Co-ordinator||Marco Di Lello|
|Founded||5 October 2007|
|Merger of||Italian Democratic Socialists, minor parties|
|Headquarters||Via Santa Caterina da Siena 57, 00186 Rome|
|National affiliation||Democratic Party|
|International affiliation||Socialist International|
|European affiliation||Party of European Socialists|
|European Parliament group||Party of European Socialists (2007–2009)|
|Chamber of Deputies|
|Politics of Italy
The party was founded in 2007–2008 by the merger of six minor social-democratic parties and groups: the Italian Democratic Socialists, Democracy and Socialism, The Italian Socialists, the Socialist Party–De Michelis, the Association for the Rose in the Fist and Socialism is Freedom. Until October 2009, the party was known simply as the Socialist Party (Partito Socialista, PS). Since July 2008 Riccardo Nencini, of Tuscany, has been party leader.
A merger of all the parties coming from the tradition of the late Italian Socialist Party (PSI), disbanded in 1994 as a result of Tangentopoli scandals, was initially proposed by Enrico Boselli during a congress of the Italian Democratic Socialists (SDI) in April 2007. In that occasion the party decided not to join the Democratic Party (PD) and called for a "Socialist Constituent Assembly" (Costituente Socialista) aimed at uniting all Socialists instead.
Some minor parties and associations, including The Italian Socialists of Bobo Craxi, Socialism is Freedom of Rino Formica and the Association for the Rose in the Fist of Lanfranco Turci immediately welcomed the proposal by Enrico Boselli. In June 2007 the New Italian Socialist Party (NPSI) split in two groups: the first, led by Stefano Caldoro, opted to stay within the House of Freedoms; the second, led by Gianni De Michelis, agreed to join the Constituent Assembly. The former retained the NPSI identity, while the latter formed the Socialist Party–De Michelis. At its foundation in October 2007 the PS was joined also by Democracy and Socialism, a group of former Democrats of the Left coming from Democratic Left.
At the 2008 general election the PS stood alone and Boselli was its candidate for Prime Minister. In the election, the Socialist Party gained less than 1% of the vote and failed to win any seats in the Italian Parliament.
Out of Parliament
At the first party congress, which took place on 4–6 July 2008, Riccardo Nencini was elected secretary, replacing Boselli, while Pia Elda Locatelli was elected president. In September Nencini, proposed a new "reformist axis" comprising the Democratic Party (PD), the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC) and the Socialists, while explaining that the Democrats needed to choose between the reformism of the PS and the populism of Italy of Values (IdV).
In October 2008 Gavino Angius led his group into the PD, proposing that the entire PS should follow him. In reply Nencini underlined that no former members of the late PSI were leaving the party. In fact, Spini, the only former Socialist in Angius' group, chose to stay in the PS. However, Gianni De Michelis left the party soon after.
For the 2009 European Parliament election the PS formed a joint list named Left and Freedom (SL) with the Movement for the Left, the Federation of the Greens, the Democratic Left and Unite the Left. SL received a mere 3.1% of the national vote and failed to return any MEPs. Despite this, the national council of the PS chose to continue the experience of SL in order to build a "secular, libertarian and left-wing" force which would join the PES. This led to the exit of Bobo Craxi, who launched the United Socialists in October. However, one month later, the PS suddenly left SL, having refused to merge into it and lose its identity. The party otherwise chose to support joint candidates with the PD and run its own lists in the forthcoming 2010 regional elections. Subsequently Craxi renewed his party membership.
At the 2010 regional elections the PSI elected a total of 15 regional councillors. The party had its best results in Apulia (9.7% with SEL and 4 councillors out of the 11 elected by SEL), Basilicata (4.6% and 1 councillor), Umbria (4.2% and 2 councillors), Campania (3.5% with SEL and 2 councillors out of 2) and Calabria (3.7%, just 0.3% short of the electoral threshold). At a congress in July Nencini was re-elected secretary, but the party was divided between three political lines: the majority of Nencini supporting a "reformist" alliance with the PD, UDC and SEL (excluding IdV and the Communist Refoundation Party, PRC), the "autonomist" wing led by Craxi and the "frontist" wing in favour of a stronger co-operation with SEL.
Return to Parliament
In November 2011 Carlo Vizzini, a senator of The People of Freedom (PdL) and former secretary of the Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI), joined the party, giving it parliamentary representation again after more than three years. While leaving the PdL, Vizzini stated: "It seems to me that the PdL is set to become the Italian section of the European People's Party. I come from another tradition: I have been secretary of the PSDI and I was one of the founders of the Party of European Socialists. When I joined Forza Italia there were Liberals, Socialists, Radicals. Now everything has changed."
The PSI did well in the 2012 municipal elections. In Carrara the Socialist mayor Angelo Zubbani was re-elected by a landslide and the party obtained 14.4% of the vote. The PSI also won 15.1% in Todi, 8.9% in Narni, 7.2% in Civitanova Marche, 9.5% in Frosinone, 11.8% in Paola, and 9.4% in Trapani.
In the 2013 general election the PSI was part of the Italy Common Good coalition headed by PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani, whom the PSI supported in the 2012 centre-left primary election. In the election the party elected 4 deputies and 2 senators in the lists of the PD. Nencini was elected to the Senate.
In the 2008 general election it got 1.8% in Umbria, 2.0% in Calabria (2.8% for the Senate), 2.8% in Basilicata, and 1.6% in Apulia. In the 2010 regional elections the party confirmed its strength in its strongholds: 4.2% in Umbria, 3.7% in Calabria, 4.6% in Basilicata, 9.7% in Apulia (along with SEL), and 3.5% in Campania. In the 2013 regional election the party increased its percentage of the vote to 7.5% in Basilicata.
- Secretary: Enrico Boselli (2007–2008), Riccardo Nencini (2008–present)
- President: Pia Elda Locatelli (2008–2010)
- Agi News On - Elections: Socialist Party Lists For Upper And Lower Houses