Fédération de la Gauche Démocrate et Socialiste FGDS

Fédération de la Gauche Démocrate et Socialiste (FGDS)

 

or Federation of the Democratic and Socialist Left, a coalition of political parties in France from 1965 to 1968. The FGDS was made up of the forces of the non-Communist left that were opposed to the regime of the Fifth Republic, including the Socialist Party (then known as the Section Française de l’Internationale Ouvrière), the party of the Radicals (Parti Républicain Radical et Radical-Socialiste), the Convention of Republican Institutions, the Democratic and Socialist Resistance Union, and various smaller groups. F. Mitterrand headed the FGDS and was chairman of its executive committee.

The formal program of the federation called for reform of the constitution and of state institutions, broader democratic liberties, and progressive socioeconomic reforms. In foreign policy, the FGDS leadership advocated disarmament and the reduction of international tension; at the same time, it favored the maintenance of NATO and the expansion of “European integration.”

The federation displayed its readiness for increased contacts with the Communist Party of France (CPF), and in December 1966 the FGDS and the CPF signed an official agreement defining their common political goals and determining tactics for the parliamentary elections of 1967. The CPF-FGDS joint declaration of February 1968 was an important step toward unity among all the forces of the left. In May and June 1968, however, when the sociopolitical struggle was in its critical phase, some of the leaders of the federation attempted to reach an agreement with leftist groups and to edge out the CPF. After the defeat of the left in the June parliamentary elections, internal discord grew more acute in the FGDS, and the federation was disbanded in November 1968.

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