Democratic Left Alliance

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Democratic Left Alliance (Polish: Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej, SLD) is a Polish social-democratic political party. A coalition of left-wing parties used this name from 1991 to 1999. It was formally established as a single party on April 15, 1999. It is currently the second largest opposition party in Poland.



Communist roots

Many DLA politicians have their roots in the communist regime. Most of the members who established the party in 1999 had previously been members of post-communist Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland (SdRP).


SdRP and some other socialist and social-democratic parties had formed the original Democratic Left Alliance as a left-wing coalition just prior to the nation's first free elections in 1991. In 1999 the coalition became a party, but lost some members.

At the time, the coalition's membership drew mostly from the Polish communist party, the Polish United Workers Party. An alliance between the SLD and the Polish People's Party ruled Poland in the years 1993–1997, however the coalition was defeated by the right-wing Solidarity Electoral Action in the 1997 election.

Electoral victory

SLD formed a coalition with Labour Union (UP) before the 2001 election and won it overwhelmingly at last by capturing about 5.3 million votes, 42% of the whole and won 200 of 460 seats in the Sejm and 75 of 100 in the Senate. After the elections, the coalition was joined by the Polish People's Party in forming a government and Leszek Miller became the Prime Minister. In March 2003 PSL left the coalition.


By 2004 the support for SLD in the polls had dropped from about 30% to just below 10%, and several high ranking party members had been accused of taking part in high profile political scandals by the mainstream press (most notably the Rywin affair: Rywin-gate).

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