Democratic Centre (France)
President Jean Lecanuet Secretary-General Pierre Abelin Founded 1966 Dissolved 1976 Merger of MRP, CNIP Merged into CDS Ideology Christian democracy, centrism International affiliation Christian Democrat World Union European affiliation European Union of Christian Democrats European Parliament Group Christian Democratic Group Official colours Light blue Politics of France
It was founded on 2 February 1966 by Jean Lecanuet after his 1965 presidential campaign. It came from the merger of the Christian Democratic and centrist Popular Republican Movement (MRP) and the liberal and conservative National Center of Independents and Peasants (CNIP). Its goal was to incarnate a third way between the left-wing opposition (which was Marxist and anticlerical) and the Gaullist coalition (accused of being Eurosceptic, nationalist and authoritarian).
Before the 1967 legislative election, some Christian-Democrats left the party to join the Gaullist movement Union of Democrats for the Fifth Republic. One year later, the CNIP left the Democratic Centre.
In 1969, the party called for a "no" vote at the referendum about regionalization and Senate reform which caused the resignation of De Gaulle. At the ensuing presidential election it supported the candidacy of Alain Poher, chairman of the Senate. He reached the second round but was defeated by Georges Pompidou, a former Gaullist Prime Minister. After that, some centrists joined the presidential majority and the cabinet of Jacques Chaban-Delmas, a reforming Gaullist. They founded Centre, Democracy and Progress (CDP). At the beginning of the 1970s there were therefore two centrist parties: the CDP, a component of the presidential majority, and the Democratic Centre, which remained in opposition.
The Democratic Centre, always led by Jean Lecanuet, allied with the centre-left Radical Party of Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber in the Reforming Movement of 1972, in order to propose a third way between the Common Programme of the left and the Gaullist presidential majority. Nevertheless, due to the ballot system in the legislative election (the Two-round system), it concluded electoral agreements with the presidential majority in a number of constituencies in 1973. Finally, it supported the winning presidential candidacy of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing at the 1974 election and was integrated into the presidential majority.
On 23 May 1976, the Democratic Centre merged with the CDP into the Centre of Social Democrats (CDS). The CDS joined on 1 February 1978 the newly founded alliance Union for French Democracy of Giscard d'Estaing.
Centrist and Christian democratic parties in France Popular Democratic Party (1924-1940) · Popular Republican Movement (1944-1967) · Democratic Centre (1966-1976) · Centre, Democracy and Progress (1969-1976) · Social Democratic Party (1973-1995) · Centre of Social Democrats (1976-1995) · Democratic Force (1995-1998) · New UDF (1998-2007) · Democratic Movement (2007- ) · New Centre (2007- ) Portal:Politics - List of political parties - List of political parties in France - Politics of France
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