The Network (political party)

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The Network
La Rete
Leader Leoluca Orlando
Founded 24 January 1991
21 March 1991[1]
Dissolved 27 February 1999
Split from Christian Democracy[2]
Merged into The Democrats[3]
Political position Centre-left[3][4]
National affiliation Alliance of Progressives (1994–96)
The Olive Tree (1996–99)
European Parliament group Green Group[5][6] (1994–99)
Politics of Italy
Political parties

The Network (Italian: La Rete), whose complete name is Movement for Democracy – The Network (Movimento per la Democrazia – La Rete),[7] was a political party in Italy led by Leoluca Orlando.


Formed by Orlando on 24 January 1991 whilst mayor of Palermo the group sought to reinvigorate the moral traditions of Italian democracy. The party was Catholic-inspired,[8][9][10] anti-Mafia[11][12][13][14] and anti-corruption.[15][16] The Network proposed an end of parliamentary immunity, greater judicial powers to tackle Mafia, and a smaller parliament with fewer law-makers.[17] Describing itself as a movement rather than a party, The Network aimed to be a loose 'civic movement' without formal memberships or rigid party structure.[18][19]

Orlando was initially attached to Christian Democracy,[20] later breaking with this party in 1991 due to its relations to the Mafia.[21][22] The party succeeded in gaining elected office in Sicily, including holding on to the mayorship of Palermo in 1993. It participated in the Alliance of Progressives, which included the Democratic Party of the Left, the Democratic Alliance, the Federation of the Greens, the Communist Refoundation Party, the Italian Socialist Party and the Social Christians, that unsuccessfully contested the 1994 general election against the House of Freedoms coalition of Silvio Berlusconi.

The party, whose leader stated the aim of creating an Italian Democratic Party,[23] changed its name to The Network for the Democratic Party (La Rete per il Partito Democratico) in 1996 and was later absorbed into The Democrats of Romano Prodi in 1999. Well-known former members of La Rete include Claudio Fava.


  1. ^ Leoluca Orlando (10 October 2013). Fighting the Mafia & Renewing Sicilian Culture. Encounter Books. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-59403-401-5. 
  2. ^ Piero Ignazi; Colette Ysmal (1 January 1998). The Organization of Political Parties in Southern Europe. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-275-95612-7. 
  3. ^ a b Liubomir K. Topaloff (7 August 2012). Political Parties and Euroscepticism. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-230-36176-8. 
  4. ^ David Broughton; Mark Donovan (4 January 1999). Changing Party Systems in Western Europe. A&C Black. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-85567-328-1. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Elizabeth Bomberg (2 August 2005). Green Parties and Politics in the European Union. Routledge. p. 257. ISBN 978-1-134-85144-7. 
  7. ^ Matthew Shugart; Martin P. Wattenberg (1 February 2001). Mixed-Member Electoral Systems : The Best of Both Worlds?: The Best of Both Worlds?. Oxford University Press. p. 347. ISBN 978-0-19-152897-2. 
  8. ^ Richard S Katz; Peter Mair (1994). How Parties Organize: Change and Adaptation in Party Organizations in Western Democracies. SAGE Publications. p. 266. ISBN 978-0-8039-7961-1. 
  9. ^ Stefano Fella; Carlo Ruzza (26 June 2009). Re-inventing the Italian Right: Territorial Politics, Populism and 'post-fascism'. Routledge. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-134-28634-8. 
  10. ^ Donald Sassoon (3 June 2014). Contemporary Italy: Politics, Economy and Society Since 1945. Routledge. p. 159. ISBN 978-1-317-89378-3. 
  11. ^ Mario B. Mignone (1 January 2008). Italy Today: Facing the Challenges of the New Millennium. Peter Lang. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-4331-0187-8. 
  12. ^ Ros Belford; Martin Dunford; Celia Woolfrey (2003). Italy. Rough Guides. p. 1000. ISBN 978-1-84353-060-2. 
  13. ^ Dick Richardson; Chris Rootes (16 January 2006). The Green Challenge: The Development of Green Parties in Europe. Routledge. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-134-84403-6. 
  14. ^ René Seindal (1 January 1998). Mafia: Money and Politics in Sicily, 1950-1997. Museum Tusculanum Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-87-7289-455-3. 
  15. ^ John Kenneth White; Philip John Davies (1998). Political Parties and the Collapse of the Old Orders. SUNY Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-7914-4068-1. 
  16. ^ Vesna Maric (2008). Sicily. Ediz. Inglese. Lonely Planet. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-74059-969-6. 
  17. ^ Martin Bull; Martin Rhodes (5 March 2014). Crisis and Transition in Italian Politics. Routledge. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-135-22274-1. 
  18. ^ José María Magone (1 January 2003). The Politics of Southern Europe: Integration Into the European Union. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-275-97787-0. 
  19. ^ Stephen P. Koff (7 March 2013). Italy: From the 1st to the 2nd Republic. Routledge. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-134-64369-1. 
  20. ^ Bernard A. Cook (8 February 2001). Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 710. ISBN 978-1-135-17932-8. 
  21. ^ Steven Van Hecke; Emmanuel Gerard (1 January 2004). Christian Democratic Parties in Europe Since the End of the Cold War. Leuven University Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-90-5867-377-0. 
  22. ^ Gino Moliterno (11 September 2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Italian Culture. Routledge. p. 220. ISBN 978-1-134-75877-7. 
  23. ^ Stephen Gundle; Simon Parker (1 November 2002). The New Italian Republic: From the Fall of the Berlin Wall to Berlusconi. Routledge. p. 186. ISBN 978-1-134-80791-8. 

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