Social Democratic Radical Party

Published 14th November, 2013

The Social Democratic Radical Party or PSRD was originally founded in 1863 as the Radical Party (Partido Radical) and is the country’s oldest party. It subsequently reformed on 18th August 1994 as part of a merger between the Radical Party and the Social Democracy Party. The party describes itself as Centre–left and believes in Social democracy, Social liberalism and Radicalism.

The Radical Party was in government from 1938 to 1952 but then lost power through deep internal strife and a subsequent split. It was part of the National Party government of 1958 – 1964 and went on to support the presidential bid of Salvador Allende and was part of his disastrous 1970 – 1973 government which led to a military coup in 1973.

The party then suffered as did other left wing parties and didn’t emerge until the 1989 general election when it won five of the 120 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The party dropped to two seats in the 1993 general election and it was then that it decided to merge with the Social Democracy Party in 1994.

The merger hasn’t helped greatly; the party won four seats in 1997, six seats in 2001, seven seats in 2005 and then dropped to five seats in 2009.

Nevertheless the party has been it has been part of the Concert of Parties for Democracy (Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia) which is better known as Concertación. It has been most successful in electing presidents, having won every presidential election until 2010. The presidents the PDC has supported include 1989, Patricio Aylwin; 1993, Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle and 1999, Ricardo Lagos.

The Social Democratic Radical Party is a member of Socialist International.

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