At 10 the national leadership of the Democratic Party, one of the most important organs of the party, made up of over 200 members including parliamentarians and local representatives, began in a meeting that was particularly awaited because the first after the defeat in the political elections on 25 September. The assembly was opened by the secretary Enrico Letta, who has not formally resigned but is waiting to convene the congress with which his successor will be chosen. After Letta, the speeches of the participants in the assembly began, who have six minutes each to speak, and will continue for the whole day of work. The management should always be closed by Letta at 17, but it is possible that you go beyond the scheduled time.
Letta began his speech with the proverbial “analysis of defeat”, on which he tried to make self-criticism for the way the election campaign was conducted, but for which he also blamed external factors such as the electoral law and the unavailability of others (i.e. the 5-Star Movement and Carlo Calenda’s Action) to make alliances. He also attributed the defeat to the situation of great international instability and to the fact that throughout this period, first with the pandemic and then with the war, the PD was in government: while a political force such as the Brothers of Italy was to the opposition and garnered the support of a fearful and troubled population. When people are afraid, “usually the right wins,” Letta said.
Then he spoke about the role that the PD will have to play during the next legislature, stressing several times that it will have to be of great opposition: «When this government falls, we will have to ask for early elections. We will not have to ask for any other government of public safety, ”he said. Letta also confirmed his unwillingness to remain at the helm of the PD and underlined the importance of “fielding a younger ruling class”. In this regard, Letta pointed out that the winner of the last elections, Giorgia Meloni, was also appreciated for being a young woman, and criticized the PD’s inability to renew itself and have a greater female presence.
Letta said that the congress that will open should not be “a referendum on Conte and Calenda”, referring to the possible alliances being discussed for the PD, and that the party will have to rebuild itself if it does not want to go towards decline. Then you described the four phases that will lead from here to the congress. The first will be “call”, to invite those who are not yet registered with the PD and also “the many who have left us in recent years” to participate. Then there will be a second in which we will discuss the “political issues”, a third in which we will vote for candidates and candidates for the secretariat and a fourth in which the field will be restricted to the two candidates or final candidates for the primary.
The PD is perhaps at the worst moment in its history: having emerged from the elections divided and without enthusiasm, the ideas on how to revive the party are apparently few, and in recent weeks there has been repeated talk of the possibility of dissolving.
Among the several important decisions that executives will have to make at this stage is when to hold the congress, a choice on which important questions depend: whether the massive procedures leading to the primary for the secretary will be initiated quickly, in fact, there will be no time for the birth and the affirmation of candidacies still not very solid today, especially in the far left wing of the party.
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In theory, the congress is likely to end between February and March, and the strongest candidate – not yet official, but considered practically secure – is the president of Emilia-Romagna Stefano Bonaccini, one of the party’s most appreciated and well-known local administrators. .
Further to the left, there has been much talk of the possibility of his deputy, Elly Schlein, a 37-year-old with less experience but potentially more able to change the image and direction of the party, to run. Many believe that Letta prefers this second hypothesis: he himself seemed to confirm this in his opening speech to the assembly, when he invited “those who have us” to return to the PD (Schlein has not renewed the card for several years) and in the various references to the need for more young people and more women to lead the party.
However, it remains to be seen what they will decide to do and who will decide to support the most varied currents of the party, including that of the Minister of Labor Andrea Orlando, considered a possible further candidate for the secretariat.
However, the management is not only concerned with the modalities and timing of the congress. One of the most important issues is the low presence of women among the people elected in Parliament by the PD: only 28.6%. It is a problem that comes from afar, and the party leaders could ask Letta to account for it, demanding an equal management of future appointments in the institutions and in the party.