- Democracy and Liberty (DL)Familiarly known as the Margherita (Daisy) after its electoral symbol, the DLwas constituted in March 2002 from the federation of several centrist parties with, for the most part, Catholic identities. The largest of these was the Partito Popolare Italiano/Italian Popular Party (PPI), which was the largest surviving fragment of the old Democrazia Cristiana/Christian Democracy Party. The PPI was joined by the Democratici per Prodi/Democrats for Prodi, which, as their name suggests, was the party of Romano Prodi’s closest supporters, and Rinnovamento Italiano/Italian Renewal, which was the party associated with the figure of Lamberto Dini.The party leader since March 2002 has been Francesco Rutelli, a former Green of strong Catholic beliefs who was the Olive Tree Coalition’s candidate for the premiership in the May 2001 general elections. The DL provides eight ministers to the government headed by Romano Prodi elected in April 2006. In electoral terms, the DL is the fourth biggest party in Italy, commanding around 11 percent of the vote (about 3.5 million voters).See also Catholicism.
Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. Mark F. Gilbert & K. Robert Nilsson. 2007.