Left Ecology Freedom

Left Ecology Freedom[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] (Italian: Sinistra Ecologia Libertà,[12] SEL) was a democratic socialist[3] political party in Italy whose bulk was formed by former members of the Communist Refoundation Party.

Left Ecology Freedom
Sinistra Ecologia Libertà
PresidentNichi Vendola
Vice PresidentsMaria Luisa Boccia
Fabio Mussi
CoordinatorNicola Fratoianni
Founded16 March 2009 (launched)
22 October 2010 (founded)
Dissolved17 December 2016[1]
Merger ofMovement for the Left
Democratic Left
Unite the Left
Ecologists Association
Socialism and Left
Merged intoItalian Left
Membership (2013)34,279[2]
IdeologyDemocratic socialism[3]
Political positionLeft-wing[4]
National affiliationIBC (2013 election)
AET (2014 EP election)
Italian Left (2015–2016)
European Parliament groupEuropean United Left–Nordic Green Left
Colours  Red

The party's leader was Nichi Vendola, a former President of Apulia. On 17 December 2016, SEL dissolved into Italian Left, which was officially launched as a party in early 2017.


Left and FreedomEdit

SEL was formed as an alliance called Left and Freedom (Sinistra e Libertà, SL) in the run up to the 2009 European Parliament election in order to overcome the 4% threshold introduced by the new electoral law in February 2009.[5]

At the time of formation, on 16 March 2009, SL included:

The electoral symbol for the 2009 election included the logos of the Party of European Socialists (PES), the Federation of the Greens (a member of the European Greens), the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE–NGL).

In the election, SL failed to pass the 4% threshold. Despite that, it was decided that SL would become a party.

Road to the new partyEdit

In October 2009, during a party congress, the Greens elected a new party leader, Angelo Bonelli, and voted to opt out from the process of the foundation of the new party.[13][14] However, Francescato and her faction decided to keep supporting SL as Ecologists with Left Ecology Freedom and leave the Greens.[15] SL was also weakened by the split occurred within PS, when the United Socialists, who were opposed to the integration of PS into SL, walked out.[16][17] Finally in November SL was hit by the sudden opt-out of the whole PS.[18][19] Since November 2009 SL was thus composed of MpS, SD, UlS, the Ecologists and Socialism and Left, a small minority of PS that wanted to continue the experience of SL.[20]

In December SL was officially launched as a party,[21] and Vendola was elected spokesperson.[22]

After an important meeting in September in Naples, where it was decided to add "Ecology" to the party's name,[23] in December 2009 Left Ecology and Freedom (SEL) held a constituent assembly in Rome. The new symbol was presented and Vendola was confirmed as spokesperson.

SEL, often in coalition with the PS, did well in the 2010 regional elections, especially in Central and Southern Italy. Overall, SEL won 3.0% of the vote, with the PS at 0.7% and the Greens at 0.2%. In the Apulian election Vendola was re-elected President of the Region and trailed SEL to 9.7%, its best regional result.[24]

Nichi Vendola during the party's first congress in Florence.

The party was officially founded in a congress in Florence on 22–24 October 2010. Vendola was elected president.[25]

Road to the 2013 general electionEdit

In 2011 and 2012 the party offered a strong competition to the Democratic Party (PD) in coalition primaries in many cities. In May 2011 Giuliano Pisapia and Massimo Zedda, who had been supported by SEL in primaries, were elected mayors of Milan and Cagliari, respectively. The party gained 5% in Milan, 6% in Turin, 10% in Bologna, 6% in Trieste, 4% in Naples and 7% in Cagliari.[citation needed]

In occasion of the 2011 referendums of June 2011 (on the abrogation of a law allowing the construction of nuclear power plants in Italy, the abrogation of a law allowing the privatisation of water management and the abrogation of so-called "legitimate impediment"), SEL gave full support to the "yes" committees. In May 2012 Marco Doria, another independent close to SEL, was elected Mayor of Genoa.

In August 2012 Vendola announced his bid for the primary election in order to select the candidate for Prime Minister of the PD-led centre-left coalition in the 2013 general election. On 25 November Vendola won 15.6% of the vote and came third behind Democrats Pier Luigi Bersani (44.9%) and Matteo Renzi (35.5%). In the run-off Vendola supported Bersani, who defeated Renzi 60.9% to 39.1%.[26] SEL selected its candidates for the election through a closed primary in December 2012.[27]

2013 general electionEdit

In the 2013 general election, which took place in February 2013, the party was part of the centre-left Italy. Common Good coalition, which supported PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani as candidate for Prime Minister. In the election SEL won 3.2% of the vote, returning 37 deputies and 7 senators. In its Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol's list SEL included some representatives of the Greens of South Tyrol: one of them, Florian Kronbichler, was elected to the Chamber.

On 16 March 2013 Laura Boldrini, an independent member of SEL, was elected President of the Chamber of Deputies.

In September SEL expressed its intention to join the Party of European Socialists (PES),[28] however in January 2014 the party finally endorsed Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Greek Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) and standard-bearer of the Party of European Left in the 2014 European Parliament election, as their chosen candidate for President of the European Commission,[29] and contested the election within The Other Europe electoral list.[30]

2014 European Parliament electionEdit

Ahead of the 2014 European Parliament election the party participated in the formation of a left-wing joint list, The Other Europe, which was endorsed by Alexis Tsipras and included several intellectuals and the Communist Refoundation Party. In the election the list obtained 4.0% of the vote and 3 MEPs.

Right after the election, the party suffered a severe split in its parliamentary ranks as 12 deputies out of 37, including the floor leader Gennaro Migliore (who was replaced by Nicola Fratoianni and, soon after, Arturo Scotto), left the party over disagreements with the party's line and started to support the Renzi Cabinet.[31][32][33] The bulk of the splinters joined forces in Freedom and Rights – European Socialists,[34][35][36] while some others directly joined Renzi's Democratic Party.[37]

Dissolution into Italian LeftEdit

In November 2015 SEL formed a joint parliamentary group in the Chamber, named Italian Left (SI), with splinters from the PD (see Future to the Left) and other parties.[38][39] In February 2016 SI held its constituent assembly in Rome, where it was announced that SI will be founded as a full-fledged party in December.[40][41][42] In March 2016 SI was established as a sub-group within the Mixed Group in the Senate: five SEL senators joined,[43] while other two (including Sardist Luciano Uras)[44] refused to do so.[45]

On 17 December 2016, SEL was merged into SI, which would be officially launched as a party in early 2017.[1]

Electoral resultsEdit

Italian ParliamentEdit

Chamber of Deputies
Election year Votes % Seats +/– Leader
2013 1,089,442 (6th) 3.2
37 / 630
Senate of the Republic
Election year Votes % Seats +/– Leader
2013 912,347 (6th) 3.0
7 / 315

European ParliamentEdit

European Parliament
Election year Votes % Seats +/– Leader
2009 958,458 (7th) 3.1
0 / 72
2014 into Other Europe 4.0
3 / 73



External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b RAI News (17 December 2016). "Vendola traghetta Sel nella "Sinistra italiana"". RAI.
  2. ^ "Riccione il 2° Congresso di Sel: La strada giusta tra crisi sociale, della politica e un campo largo, a sinistra, da ricostruire – Sinistra Ecologia Libertà". Sinistra Ecologia Libertà. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Nordsieck, Wolfram (2015). "Italy". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 15 February 2018.
  4. ^ Alessia Belli (2013). "Limits and potentialities of the Italian and British political systems through the lens of Muslim women in politics". In Jorgen S. Nielsen (ed.). Muslim Political Participation in Europe. Oxford University Press. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-7486-7753-5.
  5. ^ a b Tom Lansford, ed. (2014). Political Handbook of the World 2014. SAGE Publications. p. 710. ISBN 978-1-4833-3327-4.
  6. ^ Bogdan Patrut; Monica Patrut (2014). Social Media in Politics: Case Studies on the Political Power Or Social Media. Springer. p. 71. ISBN 978-3-319-04666-2.
  7. ^ Central Intelligence Agency (2013). The CIA World Factbook 2014. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. p. 1252. ISBN 978-1-62873-451-5.
  8. ^ Ronald Tiersky; Erik Jones (2014). Europe Today: A Twenty-first Century Introduction. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-4422-2111-6.
  9. ^ Nichi Vendola, the head of the leftist Left, Ecology, Freedom party was in third place with 14% of the vote - BBC
  10. ^ Nichi Vendola, the openly gay head of the left-wing Left, Ecology, Freedom party was in third place with 15%, while the remaining two candidates, Bruno Tabacci and Laura Puppato, trailed far behind - EurActiv
  11. ^ Members of Left, Ecology, Freedom – a leftwing opposition party – filed an urgent question in the Italian parliament on Thursday, calling on Angelino Alfano, Italy’s interior minister, to explain the deportations and to give assurances of the pair’s safety in view of Kazakhstan’s “disgraceful” human rights record - Financial Times
  12. ^ "Statuto – Sinistra Ecologia Libertà". Sinistra Ecologia Libertà. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Soli o a sinistra? Rissa all' assemblea dei Verdi". Archiviostorico.corriere.it. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  14. ^ "Verdi, a sorpresa vince Angelo Bonelli | Terra - Quotidiano di informazione pulita". Terranews.it. Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  15. ^ "il giornale di Legambiente - Bonelli presidente, il Sole si spacca". La Nuova Ecologia.it. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  16. ^ "I socialisti di Bobo Craxi: "Autonomi da tutti"". Archiviostorico.corriere.it. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  17. ^ Gianni Del Vecchio. "Bobo Craxi - VIP - Europa". Europa. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  18. ^ "I socialisti oscurano il sito di Sinistra e Libertà La coalizione è in crisi e c'è rischio di scissione - Politica". Repubblica.it. 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  19. ^ "Il Documento Approvato All'Unanimita' Dalla Segreteria Nazionale - Partito Socialista - Primo Piano". Partitosocialista.it. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  20. ^ "SOCIALISMOeSINISTRA - Associazione Politica e di Promozione Sociale e Culturale". Socialismoesinistra.it. Archived from the original on 2015-10-20. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  21. ^ "Vendola vara una nuova SEL". LeRagioni.it. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  22. ^ "Vendola "battezza" il suo movimento Malumori nel Pd". La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno.it. 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  23. ^ [1] Archived September 26, 2009, at archive.today
  24. ^ "::: Ministero dell'Interno ::: Archivio Storico delle Elezioni - Regionali del 28 Marzo 2010" (in Italian). Elezionistorico.interno.it. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  25. ^ "Vendola: la sinistra deve ripartire dalla piazza Fiom". Archiviostorico.corriere.it. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  26. ^ Ha vinto Bersani | Il Post. Ilpost.it (2012-12-02). Retrieved on 2013-08-24.
  27. ^ Vendola: primarie anche di Sel il 29 e 30, intesa con Bersani - Italia - l'Unità - notizie online lavoro, recensioni, cinema, musica Archived 2013-01-17 at the Wayback Machine. Unita.it (2008-09-20). Retrieved on 2013-08-24.
  28. ^ "Ultime Notizie Online - Agenzia Giornalistica Italia - AGI". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  29. ^ Alexis Tsipras (25 January 2014). "La lettera di Tsipras a Vendola per il congresso di Sel". il manifesto. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  30. ^ ""L'altra Europa con Tsipras", ecco il nome della lista - Europa Quotidiano". Europa Quotidiano. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  31. ^ "Effetto Pd su Sel Si dimette Migliore Scissione vicina". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  32. ^ "Migliore, il groppo in gola "Affidiamoci a Matteo"". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  33. ^ "Camera.it - XVII Legislatura - Deputati e Organi Parlamentari - Composizione gruppi Parlamentari". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  34. ^ "Gli ex di Sel fondano Led, "Libertà e diritti", e si avvicinano al Pse - Europa Quotidiano". Europa Quotidiano. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  35. ^ "I fuoriusciti di Sel danno vita a 'Libertà e diritti': "Non siamo un partito"". Adnkronos. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  36. ^ Mario Lucio Genghini. "Ex Sel fondano Led. Gennaro Migliore: "Possiamo essere tante cose"". Polisblog.it. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  37. ^ "Sel, anche il tesoriere Sergio Boccadutri lascia Nichi Vendola. E va verso il Pd". l'Espresso. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  38. ^ "Nasce 'Sinistra italiana', nuovo gruppo di 31 deputati. Fassina: "Siamo alternativi al liberismo da Happy Days di Renzi" - Politica". ANSA.it. 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  39. ^ "Si chiamerà "Sinistra italiana": domani Sel e gli ex Pd battezzano il nuovo gruppo 'anti-Renzi'". Huffingtonpost.it. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  40. ^ "Cosmopolitica, iniziata la costituente di Sinistra italiana". 19 February 2016.
  41. ^ "il manifesto". ilmanifesto.info.
  42. ^ "Cosmopolitica, la prima assemblea di Sinistra italiana: "Dal 2 al 4 dicembre il congresso fondativo"". 21 February 2016.
  43. ^ "senato.it - Senato della Repubblica senato.it - Variazioni nei Gruppi parlamentari". www.senato.it.
  44. ^ "Sel divisa tra svolta sovranista e Sinistra italiana: geografia di una guerra - Sardiniapost.it". 17 November 2015.
  45. ^ "il manifesto". ilmanifesto.info.
  46. ^ The role of spokesperson was renamed as president at the 2010 congress.