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Party of Democratic Socialism
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Party of Democratic Socialism

For the Indian PDS, see Party of Democratic Socialism (India).

This article is part of the series
Politics of Germany
Federal Government
Federal Council
Federal Assembly
Constitutional Court
Federal Ministers
States of Germany
Political Parties:
   Greens | FDP | PDS

The Party of Democratic Socialism (Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus, PDS) is a socialist political party in Germany.

The PDS is the legal successor of the Socialist Unity Party (SED) (the communist party of the GDR). Established in December 1989 by renaming itself from SED first to SED-PDS, then to PDS, it renounced most of the extreme aspects of SED policy while retaining much of its ideology [1] .

In the first all-German elections in December 1990, the PDS gained 10% of the vote in the former GDR and 17 seats in the Bundestag. In October 1994, the PDS won four directly elected seats, to re-enter parliament with a total caucus of 30 seats despite staying below the 5% hurdle for proportional representation. In 1998, the party improved its result slightly to 5.1% of the national vote and 36 deputies. In the 2002 election, the PDS stayed below 5% and won only two direct deputies (Petra Pau and Gesine Lötzsch), the only PDS members of parliament. (Parties under 5% don't get any seats in Germany (there are some exceptions from this rule, e.g. winning three direct deputies))

The party is part of coalition administrations in the states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Berlin. It controls many town councils.

The current chairman is Lothar Bisky who succeeded Gabi Zimmer in 2003. Some well-known members of the PDS are Gregor Gysi and Hans Modrow.

PDS Member of the European Parliament Feleknas Uca is the world's only elected Yezidi politician.

It is one of the founders of the European Left party.

For the European Parliament election, 2004, the Englishman Keith Barlow, living in Leipzig, was one of their candidates. The PDS got 6.1 % and 7 Members of the European Parliament - an increase of one from 1999-2004.

Table of contents
1 Related articles
2 External Links
3 Further Reading

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Further Reading