Party of Italian Communists

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Not to be confused with the much larger, disbanded Italian Communist Party.
Party of Italian Communists
Partito dei Comunisti Italiani
Founder Armando Cossutta
Secretary Cesare Procaccini
President Manuela Palermi
Founded 11 October 1998
Split from Communist Refoundation Party
Headquarters piazza Augusto Imperatore, 32
00186 Rome
Newspaper La Rinascita della sinistra
Youth wing Federation of Italian Communist Youth
Membership  (2012) 12,500[1]
Ideology Communism
Political position Left-wing
National affiliation none
International affiliation none
European affiliation Party of the European Left
European Parliament group European United Left–Nordic Green Left (1998–2009)
Chamber of Deputies
0 / 630
0 / 315
European Parliament
0 / 73
Politics of Italy
Political parties

The Party of Italian Communists (Italian: Partito dei Comunisti Italiani, PdCI) is a communist party in Italy.


Foundation and early years[edit]

The PdCI was founded in October 1998 as a split from the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) by Armando Cossutta, the original leader of the PRC.[2] The main reason for the split was the unwillingness of the majority the Communist Refoundation Party to participate in the operation that toppled the 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 Chamber of Deputies. The issue was hotly debated within the party, and in the end a few votes, coming from the Trotskyist factions, finally decided. Soon after the party joined the D'Alema I Cabinet with Oliviero Diliberto serving as Minister of Justice. The party obtained two ministries in the subsequent Amato II Cabinet.

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 4.3%.

Oliviero Diliberto[edit]

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 handful of deputies and senators.

In the 2006 general election, the party was a member of the winning The Union coalition, and won 16 out of 630 deputies.[2] The Together with the Union electoral list consisting of PdCI, Greens and United Consumers won 11 out of 315 senators.[3] 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.

PdCI flag flown in Carrara (2007)

In 2006 the PdCI proposed to the PRC, the Federation of the Greens and other left-wing forces (among them the recently founded Democratic Left) the formation of 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 and was quickly disbanded.

Out of Parliament[edit]

In July 2008 Diliberto was re-elected party secretary during 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".[4] 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 were not so convinced about it, even if they did not rule out the possibility, especially if a 5% threshold was to be introduced.[5][6][7]

For the 2009 European Parliament election the PdCI formed a joint list known as Anticapitalist and Communist List with the PRC, Socialism 2000 and United Consumers Originally Critical Left was also set to join, but finally chose to step aside.[8] 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 – Popular Left.[9]

Federation of the Left[edit]

In December 2009 the Anticapitalist and Communist List was transformed into Federation of the Left (FdS).[10][11] The FdS held its first congress on 20–21 November 2010. Diliberto was elected spokerperson of the group by the national council.[12][13]

In the 2013 general election the PdCI was part of the Civil Revolution coalition, which obtained a mere 2.2% of the vote and no seats.[2][14]

In July 2013 Diliberto stepped down from secretary after 13 years and was replaced by Cesare Procaccini, a 65-year old former metalworker from the Marche.[1]

The PdCI did not contest the 2014 European Parliament election, withdrawing its early support for The Other Europe electoral list.




External links[edit]

Media related to Partito dei Comunisti Italiani at Wikimedia Commons