Party for Democracy (Chile)

Party for Democracy
Partido por la Democracia
Leader Jaime Quintana
Secretary-General Óscar Santelices
Chief of Senators Guido Girardi
Chief of Deputies Jorge Tarud
Founded December 15, 1987 (1987-12-15)
Headquarters Santo Domingo 1828
Youth wing Juventud PPD
Membership  (2009) 99,384 (3rd)[1]
Ideology Social democracy[2]
Social liberalism
Political position Centre-left[3]
National affiliation Nueva Mayoría
International affiliation Progressive Alliance,
Socialist International[4]
Colours                Blue, Yellow and Red
Chamber of Deputies
15 / 120
6 / 38
Regional Councillors
30 / 278
37 / 345
Communal Councillors
269 / 2,130

The Party for Democracy (Spanish: Partido por la Democracia, PPD) is a centre-left political party in Chile. It states to stand in the traditions of democratic socialism and liberal progressivism.[5] It was founded in December 1987 by Ricardo Lagos, who aimed at forming a legal social-democratic party as the Socialist Party of Chile (PS) remained illegal at the time. The PPD continued to function after the defeat of Pinochet. Until 1997, double membership of PPD and the PS was allowed.

The party nominated, as part of the Concertación (Coalition of Parties for Democracy), in the 1999/2000 presidential elections Ricardo Lagos Escobar, the main leader of the party, who won 48.0% in the first round and was elected with 51.3% in the second round. At the 2001 legislative election, the party ran as part of the Coalition of Parties for Democracy and won 20 out of 120 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 3 out of 38 elected seats in the Senate. This changed at the 2005 elections to 21 and 3. In 2009, it won 18 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 4 in the Senate.


In the first few years of the party, it had difficulty establishing a well-defined ideology, due to the political diversity of its founders, who ranged from communist militants to members of the National Party. Eventually it converged on a combination of social democracy and social liberalism (called progressive liberalism in the early years of the party). Currently, according to his "Declaration of Principles," the PPD describes herself as "a left political party, democratic, progressive and parity".[5]


Party founder and former President of Chile Ricardo Lagos

The Party for Democracy (PPD) is founded on 15 December 1987 as an instrumental political organization whose primary objective was to finish with the military regime and achieve again democracy in Chile by peaceful, political means, taking advantage of the opportunity to mobilize the Chileans who represented the plebiscite by means of which the president Augusto Pinochet sought to extend its mandate.

Its founder, Ricardo Lagos, later President of Chile (2000-2006), said in the ceremony of constitution of the party that the only requirements to integrate the ranks of the PPD were: "to be against the institutional system of the regime of the dictator Pinochet because it does not lead to democracy, and in addition want to defeat it by political means".

So people were admitted to the party of socialist ideology, radicals, social democrats, liberal progressive, left-wing Christian, mapucist, communist, and young people up to the national student movement of the eighties opponents of Augusto Pinochet, among them was the movement G-80.

The PPD work actively to achieve the triumph of the "No" option in the 1988 plebiscite that he brought back the free elections to the country. Participated in the formation of the Concertación, political alliance that has dominated the Chilean government since the end of the military government until 2010, when Sebastian Piñera representing the Coalition for change came to power.

Election results

Due to its membership in the Concert of Parties for Democracy, the party has endorsed the candidates of other parties on several occasions. Presidential elections in Chile are held using a two-round system, the results of which are displayd below.

Presidential elections

Elections for the President of Chile
Date Candidate Party Round I Round II Result
% %
1989 Patricio Aylwin PDC 55.2 victory
1993 Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle PDC 58.0 victory
1999 Ricardo Lagos PPD 48.0 51.3 victory
2005 Michelle Bachelet PS 46.0 53.5 victory
2009 Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle PDC 29.6 48.4 defeat
2013 Michelle Bachelet PS 46.7 62.2 victory


  1. Estadistica de cantidad de afiliados a partidos politicos, al 14/08/2009
  2. Jörn Sommer (1997). Die Herausforderung: zum Weltmarktdiskurs der chilenischen Gewerkschaften jenseits ihrer Akteurfähigkeit. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 94. ISBN 978-3-8258-3314-5.
  3. History of the Political Parties - National Congress Library of Chile
  5. 1 2 Party for Democracy. Declaration of Principles (1993), p. 6. ""The PPD is a progressive party, where you find the tradition of the democratic socialism and the liberal progressivism, by what you feel to own their historic struggles for democracy and social justice in Chile and in the world. "
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