Italian Liberal Party (1997)
|President||Stefano de Luca|
|Founded||4 July 1997|
|Headquarters||Via Romagna 26, 00187 Rome|
|National affiliation||Lega Nord|
|European Parliament group||no MEPs|
|Chamber of Deputies||
1 / 630(Into the League)
1 / 315(Into the League)
0 / 73
The Italian Liberal Party (Italian: Partito Liberale Italiano, PLI) is a minor liberal political party in Italy, which considers itself to be the successor of the original Italian Liberal Party that existed from 1922 to 1994.
Foundation and early years
The Liberal Party (Partito Liberale) was founded in 1997 by former members of the Italian Liberal Party (PLI) and, mostly, of the Union of the Centre (UdC), as well as some former Republicans. Most of its leading figures were also members of Forza Italia (FI): Stefano de Luca, Carlo Scognamiglio, Egidio Sterpa, Ernesto Caccavale, Luigi Caligaris and Guglielmo Castagnetti. Scognamiglio was a former President of the Senate, while de Luca, Caccavale and Caligaris were serving MEPs.
In December 2004 the party was merged with other liberal groups and, as result, its name was changed to Italian Liberal Party, along with the claim of being the successor of the historical PLI, disbanded in 1994. At that point the party was completely enfranchised from FI and the centre-right House of Freedoms coalition.
Enlargement and splits
In June 2007, during its congress, the PLI reaffirmed its autonomy and de Luca was unanimously re-elected secretary; additionally, some leading former Liberals joined (or re-joined) the party: Carlo Scognamiglio (PLD), Luigi Compagna (UDC) and Luciano Magnalbò (AN). Since that time PLI is for the first time represented in a Regional Council by Antonietta Brancati, regional deputy of Lazio, previously member of Italy of Values. For the 2008 general election Liberals tried to form an electoral pact with the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats, but finally chose to run as a stand-alone list.
In February 2009 the PLI held another congress. Arturo Diaconale, supported by Angelo Caniglia and a group of Liberal Reformers (including Marco Taradash, Emilia Rossi, Carlo Monaco and Pietro Milio) and other newcomers, presented his candidacy for party secretary in opposition to de Luca, who was supported by the old guard and by Paolo Guzzanti, a dissenting member of Forza Italia and former Socialist. De Luca was re-elected party secretary with the support of 73% of the delegates, Guzzanti was appointed deputy secretary and Scognamiglio president.
In December 2010 Guzzanti left the party over personal problems with de Luca and became briefly engaged with the New Pole for Italy (NPI). In March 2011 the party was joined by two former secretaries of the late PLI, Alfredo Biondi and Renato Altissimo, and by a senator coming from The People of Freedom (PdL), Enrico Musso, who was soon appointed deputy secretary. Through Musso the party re-joined the NPI.
More entries, more splits
In November 2011 five disgruntled deputies of the PdL (Roberto Antonione, Giustina Destro, Fabio Gava, Giancarlo Pittelli, who later left, and Luciano Sardelli) joined the party through the Liberals for Italy. Another former member of the PdL, Angelo Santori, joined the LpI–PLI group in April 2012.
In March 2012, in the run-up of a congress, Scognamiglio, Biondi and Altissimo, proposed Musso as new secretary and de Luca as president. The proposal was not well received by the party's old guard and, not only de Luca was barely re-elected secretary, but Scognamiglio was replaced as president by Enzo Palumbo. In the May 2012 municipal election of Genoa, Musso garnered 15.0% of the vote in the first round, as joint NPI candidate, and 40.3% in the run-off, losing to Marco Doria.
In February 2014 several disillusioned members or former members of the party, including Altissimo, Biondi, Musso and Scognamiglio, plus Edoardo Croci, Giuliano Urbani and Alessandro Ortis, launched The Liberals as an alternative to the PLI, which happened to be quite short-lived.
From centre to centre-right
In April 2014 the PLI joined the European Choice list for the European Parliament election. This decision, strongly supported by de Luca, prompted Guzzanti to leave the party and stand as candidate for Forza Italia, and eventually de Luca to step down as secretary.
The following October, during a congress, the party elected a new leadership, notably including Giancarlo Morandi as secretary, de Luca president and Daniele Toto, a former deputy of the PdL and Future and Freedom (FLI), coordinator. The day after, Carla Martino, long-time president and honorary president of the party, died. Subsequently, in November, Ivan Catalano, a dissident deputy of the Five Star Movement, joined the PLI, marking its return to Parliament. A few months later, in March 2015, Catalano was expelled from the party for having joined the parliamentary group of Civic Choice.
In May 2017 the party's congress re-elected Morandi and de Luca as secretary and president, respectively. Additionally, Scognamiglio and Giuseppe Basini were appointed honorary presidents (the former's election marked the return into the party of most of The Liberals, while the latter's return of the "Liberal Right" or "National-Liberal" faction). Also in May, Bonfrisco was a founding member, along with Identity and Action (IdeA), of the Federation of Freedom (FdL) group.
In the run-up of the 2018 general election the PLI officially joined the centre-right coalition, through an electoral agreement with Lega Nord (LN). The LN, which ran the election as "Lega", obtained 17.4% of the vote and two Liberals were elected in its slates: Basini to the Chamber and Bonfrisco to the Senate.
- Secretary: Stefano de Luca (1997–2014), Giancarlo Morandi (2014–present)
- Deputy Secretary: Luigi Compagna (1997–2004), Attilio Bastianini (2000–2004), Savino Melillo (2000–2004), Salvatore Grillo (2007–2008), Paolo Guzzanti (2009–2010), Enrico Musso (2011–2012), Simone Santucci (2016)
- Coordinator: Angelo Caniglia (2008–2009), Roberto Petrassi (2009–2010), Mario Caputi (2010–2012), Edoardo De Blasio (2013–2014), Daniele Toto (2014–2015)
- Treasurer: Savino Melillo (2007–2008), Maurizio Irti (2010–2012), Giancarlo Morandi (2012–2014), Claudio Vitali (2014–present)
- President: Egidio Sterpa (1997–2000), Carla Martino (2000–2009), Carlo Scognamiglio (2009–2012), Enzo Palumbo (2012–2014), Stefano de Luca (2014–present)
- President of the National Council: Giuseppe Basini (2004–2008), Carlo Scognamiglio (2008–2009), Enzo Palumbo (2009–2012), Renata Jannuzzi (2012–2013), Paolo Guzzanti (2013–2014), Antonio Pileggi (2014–present)
- Honorary President/s: Gianfranco Ciaurro (1997–2000), Carla Martino (2009–2014), Carlo Scognamiglio (2017–present), Giuseppe Basini (2017–present)
- LIBERALI: STERPA PRESIDENTE, DE LUCA SEGRETARIO DEL PARTITO
- La Segreteria Nazionale del PLI comunica quanto segue | Comunicati Stampa | Partito Liberale Italiano Archived February 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
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- "Nasce il Polo della nazione". Archiviostorico.corriere.it. 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2011-06-12.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2014-03-18.