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The Liberal Populars (Popolari Liberali) is a christian-democratic Italian political party.

History

The party emerged as a faction within the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats (UDC) in February 2007 and took the current name in October. Currently it is an independent group in waiting to merge with the People of Freedom party (PdL).

It is the group led by Carlo Giovanardi and Emerenzio Barbieri, who wanted closer ties with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia and the other parties of the House of Freedoms coalition, including the Lega Nord. In the III national congress the candidacy of Giovanardi for the leadership was supported by the 13.8% of delegates. During a convention in Veronamarker titled "Liberal Populars of UDC in the centre-right" (Popolari Liberali dell'UDC nel centrodestra), on 3-4 October 2007 Carlo Giovanardi named the faction "Liberal Populars", saying that the group may leave if UDC leaves the House of Freedoms.

When, on 18 November 2007, Berlusconi proposed the birth of The People of Freedom party, Giovanardi suddenly hinted that he may leave UDC and join the new party. That finally happened on 4 February 2008, citing that the 72% of UDC voters would be interested in voting the PdL. Soon after his decision and that of UDC to fight alone the election, many leading members of UDC, including Vito Bonsignore, Tomaso Zanoletti, Luigi Compagna, Giuseppe Galati, Francesco Lucchese, Alfredo Meocci and Francesco Massi, left to join Giovanardi, along with Riccardo Conti, previously switched to Middle-of-the-Road Italy.

On 3 April 2008, during a meeting in Milanmarker, DCA announced an alliance within the new party with the Christian Democracy for the Autonomies of Gianfranco Rotondi.

In the 2008 general election the party got two deputies and two senators elected to the Italian Parliament. Carlo Giovanardi joined the Berlusconi IV Cabinet as Under-Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office.

References

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