Left Bloc

party_name = Bloco de Esquerda
colorcode = Red
leader = Francisco Louçã
foundation = 1999
ideology = Socialism
headquarters = Lisbon, Portugal
international = Party of the European Left
website = [http://www.bloco.org bloco.org]

Left Bloc (Portuguese: "Bloco de Esquerda", pron. IPA2|'blɔku dɨ (ɨ)ʃ'keɾdɐ), sometimes translated as leftist bloc or left-wing bloc, is a Portuguese left-wing political party founded in 1999. It is sometimes abbreviated to B.E. (punctuated) but always spoken in its full name. Notable members include Fernando Rosas, Francisco Louçã and Miguel Portas (brother of right-wing leader Paulo Portas).

Leftwing Bloc (B.E.) initially developed as a coalition of left-wing political groups: the People's Democratic Union (União Democrática Popular, UDP), Revolutionary Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Revolucionário, PSR), and Politics XXI (Política XXI, PXXI). This party has since moved into full party status, yet the constituent groups have maintained their existence and some levels of autonomy, leading to a loose structure. This structure may also provide an umbrella for other interested socialist organizations.

In 1999 the B.E. polled 2 % in the Portuguese legislative election, in 2002 this rose to 3 %, and in the 2005 election this rose to 6.5 % which granted them eight MPs. They also have 1 MEP in the European Parliament and many local councillors. This makes them currently Portugal's 5th party. The bloc is a founding member of the European Anticapitalist Left and participates in the Party of the European Left.

As a radical left party the majority of its support comes from colleges and labor unions. At this point the Bloc is by some seen as an alternative left political party to the older and more established Portuguese Communist Party and the centre left Partido Socialista.

The Bloc proposed Portugal’s first law on domestic violence, which was passed in parliament through the support of the Portuguese Communist Party and the Socialist Party.

Its candidate Francisco Louçã received 288,224 votes (5,31%) in the Portuguese 2006 presidential elections.

Half of the Left Bloc's MPs are female.

ee also

*Politics of Portugal
*List of political parties in Portugal

External links

* [http://www.bloco.org Official Website] (in Portuguese)
* [http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php?article_id=6009 Portuguese Left Bloc has deep roots among workers] , Socialist Worker, 12 March 2005

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