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The Network (political party)

The Network (Italian: La Rete), whose complete name was Movement for Democracy – The Network (Movimento per la Democrazia – La Rete),[7] was a political party in Italy led by Leoluca Orlando.

The Network

La Rete
LeaderLeoluca Orlando
Founded24 January 1991
21 March 1991[1]
Dissolved27 February 1999
Split fromChristian Democracy[2]
Merged intoThe Democrats[3]
Christian left
Green politics
Political positionCentre-left[3][4]
National affiliationAlliance of Progressives (1993–95)
The Olive Tree (1995–99)
European Parliament groupGreen Group[5][6] (1994–99)


The party was formed on 24 January 1991 by Leoluca Orlando, mayor of Palermo and member of the Christian Democracy,[8] who had broken with this party in 1991 due to its relations with the Mafia.[9][10] The party was Catholic-inspired,[11][12][13] while including several former members of the Italian Communist Party (Diego Novelli, Alfredo Galasso, etc.), anti-Mafia[14][15][16] and anti-corruption.[17] It proposed an end to parliamentary immunity, greater judicial powers to tackle Mafia, and a parliament with fewer lawmakers.[18] Describing itself as a movement rather than a party, the party aimed to be a loose "civic movement" without formal memberships or rigid party structure.[19][20]

The party succeeded in gaining elected office in Sicily, including five seats in the 1991 regional election (thanks to 7.4% of the vote) and, again, the mayorship of Palermo in 1993. In the 1992 national election, the party won 1.9% (nationally), 12 deputies and 3 senators, who teamed up with those of the Federation of the Greens.

It later participated in the Alliance of Progressives, which included the Democratic Party of the Left, the Democratic Alliance, the Federation of the Greens, the Communist Refoundation Party, the Italian Socialist Party and the Social Christians. The coalition unsuccessfully contested the 1994 general election against Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalitions, the Pole of Freedoms and the Pole of Good Government, and the party had 1.9% of the vote, 6 deputies and 6 senators.

In the 1996 general election the party was part of The Olive Tree coalition and elected in single-member districts five deputies, who divided themselves between the Democrats of the Left and a sub-group named "Italy of Values", and one senator. After the election, Orlando stated the aim of creating a "Democratic Party"[21] modelled on the Democratic Party of the United States and the party changed its name to The Network for the Democratic Party. In 1999 it was absorbed by The Democrats of Romano Prodi. Before that, some of its members had joined Antonio Di Pietro's Italy of Values, which was also merged into The Democrats.

After The Democrats (1999–2002), Orlando would later be active in Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy, Italy of Values and The Network 2018.

Election resultsEdit

Italian ParliamentEdit

Chamber of Deputies
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1992 730,171 (#11) 1.9
12 / 630
Leoluca Orlando
1994 719,841 (#11) 1.9
6 / 630
Leoluca Orlando
1996 with The Olive Tree
5 / 630
Leoluca Orlando
Senate of the Republic
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1992 239,868 (#12) 0.7
3 / 315
Leoluca Orlando
1994 with Progressives
6 / 315
Leoluca Orlando
1996 with The Olive Tree
1 / 315
Leoluca Orlando

European ParliamentEdit

European Parliament
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1994 366,258 (#11) 1.1
1 / 81
Leoluca Orlando


  • Foot, John M. (1996). The 'Left Opposition' and the crisis: Rifondazione Comunista and La Rete. The New Italian Republic: From the Fall of the Berlin Wall to Berlusconi. Routledge. pp. 173–188. ISBN 0-415-12161-2.


  1. ^ Leoluca Orlando (2013). Fighting the Mafia & Renewing Sicilian Culture. Encounter Books. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-59403-401-5.
  2. ^ Luciano Bardi; Piero Ignazi (1998). "The Italian Party System: The Effective Magnitude of an Earthquake". In Piero Ignazi; Colette Ysmal (eds.). The Organization of Political Parties in Southern Europe. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-275-95612-7.
  3. ^ a b Liubomir K. Topaloff (2012). Political Parties and Euroscepticism. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-230-36176-8.
  4. ^ Philip Daniels (1999). Italy: Rupture or Regeneration. Changing Party Systems in Western Europe. A&C Black. p. 78. ISBN 1-85567-328-2.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Elizabeth Bomberg (2005). Green Parties and Politics in the European Union. Routledge. p. 257. ISBN 978-1-134-85144-7.
  7. ^ Roberto D'Alimonte (2001). Mixed Electoral Rules, Partisan Realignment, and Party System Change in Italy. Mixed-Member Electoral Systems : The Best of Both Worlds?: The Best of Both Worlds?. Oxford University Press. p. 347. ISBN 0-19-924079-5.
  8. ^ Dario Caronitti (2001). "Political Parties (Italy)". In Bernard A. Cook (ed.). Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia. Garland. p. 710. ISBN 978-1-135-17932-8.
  9. ^ Robert Leonardi; Paolo Albert (2004). From Dominance to Doom? Christian Democracy in Italy. Christian Democratic Parties in Europe Since the End of the Cold War. Leuven University Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-90-5867-377-0.
  10. ^ John Pollard (2002). "DC". In Gino Moliterno (ed.). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Italian Culture. Routledge. p. 220. ISBN 978-1-134-75877-7.
  11. ^ Luciano Bardi; Leonardo Morlino (1994). "Italy: Tracing the Roots of the Great Transformation". In Richard S.Katz; Peter Mair (eds.). How Parties Organize: Change and Adaptation in Party Organizations in Western Democracies. SAGE. p. 266. ISBN 0-8039-7960-6.
  12. ^ Stefano Fella; Carlo Ruzza (2009). Re-inventing the Italian Right: Territorial Politics, Populism and 'post-fascism'. Routledge. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-415-34461-6.
  13. ^ Donald Sassoon (1997). Contemporary Italy: Politics, Economy and Society Since 1945 (2nd ed.). Longman. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-582-21428-6.
  14. ^ Mario B. Mignone (2008). Italy Today: Facing the Challenges of the New Millennium. Peter Lang. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-4331-0187-8.
  15. ^ Martin Rhodes (1995). "Italy: Greens in an overcrowded political system". In Dick Richardson; Chris Rootes (eds.). The Green Challenge: The Development of Green Parties in Europe. Routledge. p. 136. ISBN 0-415-10649-4.
  16. ^ René Seindal (1998). Mafia: Money and Politics in Sicily, 1950-1997. Museum Tusculanum Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-87-7289-455-3.
  17. ^ Nick Carter (1998). "Italy: The Demise of Post-War Partyocracy". In John Kenneth White; Philip John Davies (eds.). Political Parties and the Collapse of the Old Orders. State University of New York Press. p. 89. ISBN 0-7914-4067-2.
  18. ^ James L. Newell; Martin Bull (2014). "Party Organisations and Alliances in Italy in the 1990s: A Revolution of Sorts". In Martin Bull; Martin Rhodes (eds.). Crisis and Transition in Italian Politics. Routledge. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-135-22274-1.
  19. ^ José María Magone (2003). The Politics of Southern Europe: Integration Into the European Union. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 220. ISBN 0-275-97787-0.
  20. ^ Sondra Z. Koff; Stephen P. Koff (2000). Italy: From the 1st to the 2nd Republic. Routledge. p. 53. ISBN 0-415-19663-9.
  21. ^ John M. Foot (1996). "The 'Left Opposition' and the crisis". In Stephen Gundle; Simon Parker (eds.). The New Italian Republic: From the Fall of the Berlin Wall to Berlusconi. p. 186.

External linksEdit