Union of the Democratic Left

Union of the Democratic Left

 

(Eniaia Demokratike Aristera; EDA), a party founded in Greece in June 1951 on the eve of the parliamentary elections as a political coalition of socialist and left-wing democratic forces. Its membership embraced Socialists, left-wing democrats, and Communists, who, while maintaining their own political convictions, united organizationally and took a stand for democratic changes in the nation within a constitutional framework.

At its first conference (July 1956) the EDA set its sights on party solidarity, adopted statutes, and elected the central party bodies. The decisions of the First Congress of the EDA (November 1959), which formulated the party’s political goals and set down its organizational structure, helped strengthen the party. The congress declared that the EDA was a democratic party of the Greek people, expressing their interests and defending their constitutional rights and freedoms.

The Second Congress (December 1962) stressed that the antinational and antipopular policy of the ruling circles was impairing the interests of all classes and social strata of Greece and was thereby creating objective prerequisites for broad unity of action by all political forces in the nation. The congress framed a program for united action. This program included demands for restoration of democratic practices and the rule of law under a constitution; pursuit of a policy of peace, friendship, and cooperation with all peoples; improvement of the economic status of the working people by reduction of military spending; and protection of the country from exploitation by foreign and domestic monopolies.

The EDA called for a democratic path of Greek development, Greece’s withdrawal from NATO and changeover to a posture of neutrality, abrogation of all emergency laws and measures, and legalization of the Greek Communist Party. In the parliamentary elections of Feb. 16, 1964, 22 deputies (out of 300) were elected on the EDA slate. After the coup d’etat on Apr. 21, 1967 by a reactionary military clique backed by imperialist circles of the USA and NATO, the authorities officially banned EDA activity on April 30. However, the party continued to operate underground and had its organizations among Greeks residing in Western European countries. When the civil government headed by C. Caramalis came to power in Greece in July 1974, the ban on EDA activity was lifted.

The highest body of the EDA is the Congress, which evolves the general political line and elects the Administrative Committee and the party chairman; its executive body is the Executive Committee, which has 14 members and eight candidates. The central organ of the EDA is the newspaper Auge. The chairman of the EDA from 1951 to 1968 was la. Pasalidis.

K. A. SHEMENKOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Occasionally, the Union of the Democratic Left [the former communist party] also received the designation of being worthy.

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