Partito di Rifondazione Comunista

Communist Refoundation Party (PRC)
   This group split from the 20th Party Congress of the Partito Comunista Italiano/Italian Communist Party (PCI) in February 1991, manifesting its rejection of the party’s transformation into the Partito Democratico della Sinistra/Democratic Party of the Left (PDS). Led initially by Armando Cossutta, and from 1994 by Fausto Bertinotti, it has displayed unexpected electoral and organizational resilience. In the 1994 general elections it obtained 6 percent of the poll, a figure that rose in 1996 to 8 percent. The party today boasts 100,000 dues-paying members and more than 30 deputies.
   Since April 1996, the PRC has been a necessary but sometimes difficult ally for the Olive Tree Coalition. In October 1998, the PRC brought down the first government of Romano Prodi when further changes to the welfare system were proposed. The party split, with Bertinotti leading the majority faction of the party into opposition. In the 2001 elections, the PRC fought alone and by taking votes away from the center-left was decisive in handing a large victory to Silvio Berlusconi’s Casa delle Liberta/House of Freedoms (CDL). The lesson was learned. The PRC agreed to join the Unione/Union, as the new center-left coalition formed by Prodi in 2004 was called, and also agreed to subscribe to a common coalition program. After the Unione won the April 2006 elections, the PRC was rewarded by a place in government and by the election of Bertinotti as president of the Chamber of Deputies. Whether the PRC, whose political ideology is antiglobalization, anti-American, and pacifist can thrive as a party of government is open to question. Since Bertinotti’s elevation to an institutional role, the party has been led by Franco Giordano.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

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