United Democratic Left

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United Democratic Left
Ενιαία Δημοκρατική Αριστερά
Leader Ioannis Passalidis (first)
Ilias Iliou (last)
Founder Ioannis Passalidis
Founded 1951
Dissolved 1977
Preceded by Democratic Alignment
Ideology Democratic socialism
Communism
Pacifism
Political position Left-wing
Politics of Greece
Political parties
Elections

The United Democratic Left (Greek: Ενιαία Δημοκρατική Αριστερά, ΕΔΑ, Eniéa Dimokratikí Aristerá, EDA) was a political party in Greece, active mostly before the Greek military junta of 1967-1974.

Foundation[edit]

The party was founded the July 1951 by prominent center-left and leftist politicians, some of which were former members of ELAS. While, initially, EDA was meant to act as a substitute and political front of the banned Communist Party of Greece, it eventually acquired a voice of its own, rather pluralistic and moderate. This development was more clearly shown at the time of the 1968 split in the ranks of Communist Party of Greece, with almost all former members of EDA joining the faction with Euro-communist, moderate tendencies.

History[edit]

EDA participated in all the elections in Greece from 1952 until 1964. In the elections of 1958 it managed to become the leading party of the opposition, an achievement all the more surprising in view of the recent end of the Greek civil war and the consequently prevailing anti-Left politics at the time.

In the elections of 1961 and 1964 EDA indirectly supported the Center Union against the National Radical Union. In 1963, just before the upcoming elections, Greece entered a protracted period of political and social unrest, with the assassination of EDA's deputy, Gregoris Lambrakis, providing further inflammation. EDA and the Center Union accused prime minister Constantine Karamanlis and his party, the National Radical Union, for the murder, which resulted in more and, sometimes, violent manifestations. Constantine Karamanlis denounced his accusers, and warned that they contribute to the deterioration of political instability in the country. An independent judicial inquiry held under public prosecutor Christos Sartzetakis concluded that responsible for the assassination were far-right extremists who linked with rogue elements in the Greek security forces. However, no specific instructions from the ruling political leadership were identified, nor proven in the subsequent trial of the perpetrators.

The party's end[edit]

With the advent of the dictatorship of 1967, the party was outlawed by the regime and its members were persecuted.

After the restoration of democracy, ΕDΑ reappeared in the elections of 1974 in an alliance with Communist Party of Greece and Communist Party of Greece (Interior), which were allowed to operate once again, and other leftist parties, under the leadership of Ilias Iliou, the most prominent politician of the Left in Greece at the time. Following a split in the alliance, ΕDΑ never participated independently in Greek politics again after 1977. Under the leadership of Manolis Glezos, the party took part in the elections of 1981 and 1985 in an alliance with and within the ranks of Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK).

Politicians of EDA[edit]

Well-known politicians of EDA were:

Electoral performance[edit]

Year Party Leader Number of votes Percentage of votes Seats in the
Hellenic Parliament
Position in Parliament
1951
Collective leadership
180,640
10.6%
10 / 258
Fourth party
1952
Ioannis Passalidis
152,011
9.5%
0 / 300
extraparliamentary
1956
Part of the Democratic Union
19 / 300
Fifth party
1958
Ioannis Passalidis
939,902
24.4%
79 / 300
Main opposition party
1961
Part of the All-Democratic Agricultural Front
22 / 300
Third party
1963
Ioannis Passalidis
669,297
14.3%
28 / 300
Third party
1964
Ioannis Passalidis
542,865
11.8%
22 / 300
Third party
1974
Part of the United Left
1 / 300
Minor opposition party
1977
Part of the Progress and Left Forces Alliance
1 / 300
Minor opposition party

See also[edit]