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 NEWS 2009

News in brief: Latest events around the world of parties and elections in Europe.

Dec Italy
Former Rome mayor Francesco Rutelli left the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and formed a small centrist party called Alliance for Italy (API). Rutelli and his followers opposed the election of Pier Luigi Bersani as PD party leader.
Sources: La Repubblica / Der Standard
The Turkish Constitutional Court banned the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) on charges of having links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The DTP MPs decided to join the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).
Sources: BBC / Today's Zaman
The Sandzak Democratic Party (SDP) was reorganised into the Social Democratic Party of Serbia (SDP).
Sources: B92 / Wikipedia
Nov Turkey
The Motherland Party (ANAP) merged into the Democratic Party (DP).
Source: CNN Türk
The Party of Belorussian Communists (PKB) changed its name into Belarusian United Left Party 'Just World' (BPOL).
Source: Camarade Online
Basque Country / E
A moderate faction of the Basque Solidarity (EA) that opposed the strict left-wing pro-independence stance founded a formation called Hamaikabat (H1!). The new party renewed its ties with the Basque National Party (PNV).
Source: El Pais
A number of nationalist and radical right parties formed the pan-European Alliance of European National Movements (AENM): FN/Belgium, FN/France, JOBBIK/Hungary,  MSFT/Italy, ND/Sweden, BNP/UK.
Source: EU Observer
Oct EU
The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group in the European Parliament set up a new eurosceptic transnational party, called the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists (AECR).
Sources: ECR / New Europe
Five new parties joined the Party of the European Left (EL) as full members: Left Alliance (VAS) from Finland, the Communist Party of Finland (SKP), the Workers' Party of Hungary 2006 (MMP) and the oppositional Party of Belorussian Communists (PKB). The New Cyprus Party (YKP) became observer party.
Source: EL
The Socialist Party (PS) was renamed into Italian Socialist Party (PSI).
Source: PSI
Sep Hungary
The European People’s Party (EPP) decided to suspend the membership of the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF). The MDF MEP who was elected in the last elections did not join the EPP Group, but joined the rightist ECR Group instead. In addition, the EPP decided to initiate the procedure of exclusion of this party.
Source: EPP
San Marino
A regional group of eight MPs of the Party of Socialists and Democrats (PSD) from the municipality of Borgo Maggiore founded a new party called Sammarinese Reformist Socialist Party (PSRS).
Source: Wikipedia
The anti-European June Movement (J) was dissolved. The formation had lost its representation in the EP in 2009.
Sources: J / Wikipedia
Jul Ukraine
The People's Union Our Ukraine (NSNU), main part of the bloc NUNS, shortened its name into Our Ukraine (NU).
Source: Interfax Ukraine
A moderate faction of the Hungarian Coalition Party (MKP) around the former party leader Béla Bugár formed a party called Bridge (Most-Híd). The new party opposes any forms of nationalism and stresses inter-ethnical cooperation.
Source: Der Standard
Just Russia - Motherland, Pensioners, Life (SR) shortened its name to simply Just Russia (SR).
Sources: SR / Wikipedia
Right-wing parties from eight EU member states, including the British Conservative Party and the Czech ODS (former members of the federalist EPP-ED group) formed a new anti-federalist and eurosceptical conservative group in the European Parliament. The new parliamentary group is called European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) teamed up with right-wing eurosceptics and hard-right anti-immigrant parties. This group, successor to the former group Independence/Democracy, is called Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD).
Sources: EU Observer / BBC
Jun Czech Republic
Leading members of the rightist wing around the former Czech finance minister Miroslav Kalousek left the KDU-ČSL and founded the conservative party TOP 09 (Tradice - Odpovědnost - Prosperita - Tradition, Responsibility, Prosperity). Former Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has agreed to lead the new party.
Source: Prague Daily Monitor
May EU
The People's Party (CDS-PP) [Portugal] rejoins the European People's Party (EPP). The small extraparliamentary Hungarian Communist Workers' Party (MKMP), a party of Marxist-Leninist orientation, left the European Left (EL).
Sources: EPP / Kommunisten.ch
Apr Ireland
Fianna Fáil (FF) became member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR). The extraparliamentary parties Democratic Liberal Centre (CDL) [Spain] and Free Forum (SF) [Slovakia] became observer members.
Source: ELDR
The extraparliamentary ecological party Icelandic Movement - Living Land (IH) merged into the Alliance (S).
Source: IceNews
The center-right alliance People of Freedom (PDL), launched by Sivio Berlusconi in 2007, was reorganised into a unified political party. Forward Italy (FI), National Alliance (AN), Christian Democracy for the Autonomies (DCA), Liberal Populars (PL), New Italian Socialist Party (NPSI), Liberal Reformers (RL), Federation of Christian Populars (FDCP), Italiens in the World (InM), Libertarian Right (DL) and Social Action (AS) were merged into the new PDL.
Source: La Repubblica
Czech Republic
Some left-wing members of the Green Party (SZ) founded the Democratic Party of Greens (DSZ).
Source: Radio Praha
Mar United Kingdom
The Conservative Party has confirmed it is leaving the pro-European European People's Party - European Democrats (EPP-ED) group in the EP to set up an anti-federalist new group. The new group, expected to be called the European Conservatives, is likely to include members from the Czech ODS, the Polish PiS and parties from the Baltic countries.
Source: BBC
Liberal merger: The Freethinking Democratic Party (FDP) and the Liberal Party of Switzerland (LPS) merged into the FDP.The Liberals (FDP). The LPS branches in Basel and Geneva remain their cantonal independence within the party.
Sources: Swissinfo.ch / Wikipedia
Feb France
The extraparliamentary Trotskyist Revolutionary Communist League (LCR), led by Olivier Besancenot, was enlarged and reorganised into the ideologically broader New Anticapitalist Party (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste, NPA).
Source: The Guardian
Jan Belgium
The social liberal Flemish Progressives (VP) changed their name into Social Liberal Party (SLP); the electoral cartel with the Socialist Party Different (SPA) was dissolved. A minority faction left the party and joined the SPA.
Source: Wikipedia
Czech Republic
A new party dedicated to campaigning against the Lisbon Treaty was launched by close associates of Czech president Vaclav Klaus. The Free Citizens' Party (Strana Svobodných Občanů, SSO) is led by Petr Mach, director of a pro-market think tank based in Prague.
Source: Irish Times
The Refoundation for the Left (RPS), a reformist faction within the PRC around Nichi Vendola, president of the Apulia region, decided to transform itself into a party called Movement for the Left (MPS). The formation intends to create a non-communist united left with the Democratic Left (SD), the Greens (VERDI) and a reformist current within the communist PDCI.
Source: L'Unita
The Serbian People's Party (SNS) and some of its allies within the Serbian List (SL) were absorbed into the New Serbian Democracy (Nova Srpska Demokratija, NSD). The NSD represents the rightist wing of the pro-Serbian camp.
Source: Southeast European Times
The small extraparliamentary Social Democratic Union (SDS), a social democratic splinter group from the Latvian Social Democratic Labour Party (LSDSP), joined the Harmony Centre (SC).
Source: SC

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