(1) In bourgeois states, a group of deputies to parliament, all of whom belong to the same party. Parliamentary fractions are formed to carry out the day-to-day tasks of pushing the party’s political line and program through the parliament and the government. The party’s leader in parliament is head of the fraction.
In countries where parliamentary fractions are officially recognized, the conditions for their formation are stated in the parliamentary rules. For example, in the Bundestag (the Federal Republic of Germany) a parliamentary fraction is defined as a group of at least 15 persons belonging to the same party. The majority and minority (opposition) parties have their own fractions.
Communist parliamentary fractions occupy a special position in the parliaments of bourgeois governments such as France, Italy, and Japan. Communist deputies, who use the parliamentary forum to unmask the politics of the ruling classes, have considerable influence on the formation of parliamentary bodies of government and on the legislative process.
(2) In some socialist countries that have a multiparty system (the German Democratic Republic [GDR], Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary), there are parliamentary fractions or groups (in Poland, party clubs) in the highest bodies of popular representation. In the GDR parliamentary fractions are established by mass public organizations of the working people, as well as by political parties.