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Alliance of the Democratic Left

From Academic Kids

Template:Politics of Poland

Alliance of the Democratic Left (Polish: Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej, SLD) is one of the main Polish social democratic political parties. A coalition of parties used this name from 1991 to 1999. It was formally established as a single party on April 15, 1999.

Most of the members who established the party in 1999 had previously been members of SdRP (Socjaldemokracja Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej - Social Democrats of the Republic of Poland). SdRP and some other socialist and social democratic parties had formed the original Alliance of the Democratic Left as a left-wing coalition just prior to the nation's first free elections in 1991. At the time, the coalition's membership drew mostly from the Polish communist party, the Polish United Workers Party, which ruled the People's Republic of Poland with Soviet support before 1989. An alliance between the SLD and the Polish Peasant Party ruled Poland in the years 19931997.

Template:Polsoc In 1999 the coalition became a party, but lost some members. Today SLD is a pro-European (pro-EU) social democratic party.

The president of SLD is former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Wojciech Olejniczak, elected on May 29, 2005. His predecessor was Jˇzef Oleksy. Oleksy's predecessor was Krzysztof Janik, and Janik's predecessor was Leszek Miller, the Prime Minister of Poland from 2001 to 2004. The former president of SLD, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, became President of Poland in December 1995.

In the 2001 elections SLD formed a coalition with Unia Pracy (UP, Labor Union) and gained 200 (of 460) seats in the Sejm (the lower house) and 75 (of 100) in the Senate. After the elections, the coalition was joined by Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe (the Polish Peasants' Party) in forming a government. In March 2003 PSL left the coalition. By 2004 the support for SLD in the polls had dropped from about 30% to just below 10%, and several high ranking party members had been accused of taking part in high profile political scandals by the mainstream press (most notably the Rywin affair).

On March 6, 2004 Leszek Miller resigned as party leader and was replaced by Krzysztof Janik. On March 26 the Diet speaker Marek Borowski, together with other high-ranking SLD officials, announced the creation of a new left-wing party, the Polish Social Democrats (Socjaldemokracja Polska). On the next day, Leszek Miller announced he would step down as prime minister on May 2, the day after Poland joins the European Union. He proceeded to do so.

Today SLD still rules Poland with 161 seats in the Sejm and the newly appointed Prime Minister Marek Belka; however, it is uncertain whether it will be able to secure the majority necessary to pass a confidence vote, and the opposition is pressing for earlier elections. Recent opinion polls suggest SLD might not cross the 5% threshold needed to enter the Sejm if elections were to be held today. The party's traditional electorate is divided between SDL, SDPL and the more radical leftist Samoobrona.

In the 2004 to the European Parliament, the party received 9% of the votes, giving it 5 of 54 seats reserved for Poland in the European Parliament, as part of the Party of European Socialists.

Members of Polish Parliament (Sejm)

MP, constituency

Former SLD MPs

External links

fr:Alliance de la gauche dÚmocratique pl:Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej

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