Christian Democratic Party (Bolivia)

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Christian Democratic Party
Partido Demócrata Cristiano
President Jorge Suárez Vargas
Founded February 6, 1954; 63 years ago (1954-02-06)
Headquarters La Paz
Membership  (2013) 59,408[1]
Ideology Progressivism
Integral humanism
Christian democracy
Political position Centre
Regional affiliation ODCA
Colours      Red
Chamber of Deputies
10 / 130
Senate
2 / 36
Party flag
Bandera Partido Democrata Cristiano Bolivia.png

The Christian Democratic Party (Spanish: Partido Demócrata Cristiano, PDC) is a progressive Christian-democratic political party in Bolivia.

Founded on 6 February 1954, as Social Christian Party (Spanish: Partido Social Cristiano, PSC), and assumed its present name at a party congress in November 1964. Its intellectual foundations were study centres of the Church's social doctrine, the Bolivian Catholic Action and “Integral Humanism” (a centre for the study of the philosophy of Jacques Maritain). It remains a conventionally “tercerista” Party, calling for a “third way” between capitalism and socialism – a way that would be more humane and truly democratic than either competing social-political system. Founded by Remo Di Natale, Benjamín Miguel Harb, Javier Caballero, and Emanuel Andrade.[2]

The Christian Democratic Party took part in the 1958 and 1962 congressional elections, in 1962 Benjamín Miguel Harb became its first deputy. It boycotted the 1964 and 1966 presidential votes. [3] In 1967, the party took part in the Government of the President of René Barrientos Ortuño, being given responsibility for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and this was a major misjudgment by the PDC leadership. When military forces carried out bloody raids against mining camps, the Christian Democratic Party was forced to withdraw in anger and embarrassment, with severe internal divisions resulting. The party's youth organization had been discontented with the third-road philosophy for some time, and the mine camp invasions helped to crystallize their rebellion; they favored revolutionary socialism as a solution to Bolivia's dilemmas. In the late 1960s, the youth wing seceded to form the Revolutionary PDC which later became the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR). Several discontented members of the party, including Jose Luis Roca Garcia, also left to join General Alfredo Ovando Candía's short-lived nationalist revolutionary government in 1969–1970.[2]

Under the dictatorship of President Hugo Banzer Suárez the Christian Democratics fought for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the holding of elections, but its president Benjamín Miguel Harb was exiled in 1974 and its organizing secretary Felix Vargas forced to leave the country shortly afterwards. [4]

The PDC took part in 1978 general elections, running former Defense Minister General René Bernal Escalante, a leader of the right-wing faction of which supported the Hugo Banzer Suárez regime.[5] After the 1978 election, René Bernal Escalante split from the PDC and founded the Christian Democratic Union.[5]

For the elections held on 1 July 1979, the party joined the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement-Alliance with four other parties – the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR), the Authentic Revolutionary Party (PRA), the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (PCML) and the Tupaj Katari Revolutionary Movement (MRTK). The Alliance ran a MNR’s leader Víctor Paz Estenssoro as its Presidential candidate and a PDC’s leader Luís Ossio Sanjines as its Vice-Presidential candidate.[6] In 1979 the Christian Democratic Party won nine seats in the Chamber of Deputies and three in the Senate.

In 1980 the PDC took part in an electoral coalition Democratic Revolutionary Front-New Alternative backing ex-President Luis Adolfo Siles Salinas, which polled few votes; the leader of the PDC Benjamín Miguel Harb ran as Vice-Presidential candidate.[6]

Soon after the restoration of democratic government, in November 1982, Christian Democratics took a seat in the Hernán Siles Zuazo Government, but withdrew from the coalition in October 1984.[7]

The PDC took part in 1985 general elections, running Luís Ossio Sanjines as its presidential candidate and Jaime Ponce Garcíaas as vice-presidential candidate, and won three seats in the Chamber of Deputies.[6] Although winning no legislative seats as an ally of the Nationalist Democratic Action in May 1989, Luis Ossio Sanjines, was elected Vice-President of the Republic as a result of its adherence to the Nationalist Democratic ActionRevolutionary Left Movement pact (Patriotic Agreement) in August. The PDC campaigned as a member of the Patriotic Agreement in 1993 elections.[7] The Christian Democratic Party was one of the founding components of Social and Democratic Power (PODEMOS), for which it provided its electoral registration. Following the 2005 election, this alliance led the parliamentary opposition to President Evo Morales.[8][9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Carlos Corz (May 2, 2013). "TSE registra 1 millón de militantes de partidos políticos; ADN lidera la lista". 
  2. ^ a b Political parties of the Americas: Canada, Latin America, and the West Indies. Greenwood Press, 1982. P. 131.
  3. ^ Political parties of the world. Longman, 1980. P. 28.
  4. ^ Political parties of the world. Longman, 1988. P. 66.
  5. ^ a b Political handbook of the world 1981. New York, 1981. P. 70.
  6. ^ a b c Elections in the Americas : a data handbook / ed. by Dieter Nohlen, Vol. 2. [Oxford] [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press, 2005. P.151.
  7. ^ a b Political handbook of the world 2005-2006. New York, 2006. P. 126.
  8. ^ Political handbook of the world 2008. New York, 2008. P. 138.
  9. ^ Luizaga, Dennis (2013-12-10). "Cinco fuerzas de la democracia pactada buscan reflotar en 2014". La Razón. La Paz, Bolivia. Retrieved 2013-12-10.