Democratic Unitarian Coalition (CDU)

Democratic Unitarian Coalition (CDU). The CDU is a coalition of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the Ecologist Party (PEV), though in reality the PCP is by far the senior partner, and the PEV are mostly irrelevant, though, officially, the two maintain fairly different party programmes. The coalition has existed since 1987.

The PCP is a much less reconstructed far-left party than the Left Bloc, its fellow traveller on the Portuguese far-left. Some would accuse the party of Stalinism. The PCP maintains a greater credibility in Portugal than elsewhere due to the prominent and important position and role of Communists in the opposition to the Salazar regime.

However the CDU has recently begun to run slighter more modern and slick election campaigns.

The coalition is strongest in the South of Portugal, where it can win fairly sizeable regions in some parts of the South. The party is, commensurately, almost non-existent in much of the North. While the party’s vote was falling for many years, it now seems to have stabilised. Polls show some growth since the financial crisis, but the CDU has a low ceiling due to its association with Soviet-style Communism (the PCP still uses the hammer and sickle as its official party symbol) which puts the hard-left CDU beyond the pale for many people.

The CDU, is, like the BE, broadly Eurosceptic. The CDU website declares itself as being ‘For another Europe’, and supports a vision of Europe which is weaker, less market based but more interventionist.

The PCP is a member of the European United Left. The PEV is a member of the European Green Party. The PEV has only ever elected one MEP, however (between 1989 and 1994) when the CDU won 4 seats (its best ever result) and so is unlikely to win a MEP.

The PCP is a much less party to the European United Left than its fellow group member, the Left Bloc, voting alongside it 82.7% of the time, making it the sixth least loyal party.


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