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Democratic Reformist Party

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Democratic Reformist Party
Partido Reformista Democrático
LeaderMiquel Roca
PresidentAntonio Garrigues Walker
Secretary-GeneralFlorentino Pérez
Founded1983 (1983)
Dissolved1986 (1986)
Social liberalism
Political positionCentre to centre-right

The Democratic Reformist Party (Partido Reformista Democrático in Spanish) was a Spanish political party led by Miquel Roca founded in 1983. It was supported by the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) of Antonio Garrigues Walker, the Riojan Progressive Party (PRP) and the Majorcan Union. It was known as "Operation Roca", referring to its main leader and candidate for Prime Minister, Miquel Roca i Junyent. The party ran in all of Spain, with the exception of Galicia, where it was represented by Galician Coalition (CG), and Catalonia, where its representative was Convergence and Union (CiU).

The party got 194,538 votes (0.96%) in the 1986 general election, failing to gain any seats. Due to this defeat, the party dissolved itself in 1986.[1]


The Democratic Reformist Party was born in 1983 as a political operation undertaken by politicians from CiU and the former UCD for the 1986 general election. This project soon received the name of "Operation Roca" by the name of one of its promoters, the Catalan politician Miquel Roca i Junyent, although there were other promoters such as the former president of the CGPJ, Federico Carlos Sainz de Robles y Rodríguez, as well as lawyers, businessmen, etc. From the journalistic world the project had the support of the Diario 16 newspaper and of its then director, Pedro J. Ramírez.[2] The PRD was officially registered on 11 March 1983[3] while on May 19, its first foundational meeting was held, with the participation of members of the Majorcan Union, Canarian Convergence, the Independent Group of Almería, and Galician Coalition;[4] and its first “summit” took place on 5 July with representatives from 25 provinces in attendance.[5][6]

The reformist operation also had the support of the banking sector,[7] and of the employers, especially the Spanish Confederation of Employers' Organizations (CEOE), whose president promised the PRD economic support for the electoral campaign worth 16,000 million pesetas.[2]

Despite its supposed centrist and liberal character, for many potential voters the PRD was too identified with Catalan politics and presented a very confusing political profile.[8] Certainly the leaders of the party sinned of optimism, since they considered that Felipe González’s PSOE would not manage to obtain the absolute majority and that the People’s Alliance (AP) of Manuel Fraga had reached its peak. In fact, one of the premises of the PRD was that it could subtract votes and seats from two of the parties allied with AP, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) of Oscar Alzaga and the Liberal Party.

The party celebrated its constituent congress from 23–25 November 1984, when Antonio Garrigues Walker was elected as its president.[9]

Election results

Congress of Deputies / Senate

Election Congress of Deputies Senate Size Government Leader
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/− Seats won +/−
1986 194,538 1.0% New
0 / 350
0 / 208
±0 #9 No seats Miquel Roca

Facing the elections the party stood in all provinces except in Catalonia and Galicia, where their referents were Convergence and Union (CiU) and Galician Coalition (CG), respectively. Paradoxically, although Miquel Roca was presented to the elections as the Prime Ministerial candidate, Roca ran under the CiU banner, not the PRD one. On the day of the elections, the Democratic Reformist Party obtained some 194,538 votes (0.96% of the total votes cast),[10] although no seats. In addition, the PSOE revalidated its absolute majority and there was no leak from AP. Convergence and Union (CiU) did manage to obtain good results in Catalonia, reaching 30% of the vote in the Province of Barcelona and 41% in the Province of Girona.[11] Galician Coalition also managed to elect one deputy.[7] The results were an absolute failure for the PRD.[12] It was also a failure for CiU, which although considerably improved its results in Catalonia, saw its political operation frustrated in the rest of Spain.[13] Given the poor results obtained, the party was practically dissolved on the same night of the elections; On the other hand, Convergence and Union ignored the situation (Roca even refused to appear in public for the results) and broke with the reformist project.[13]

Although the remaining parties survived the reformist operation, Garrigues Walker's Liberal Democratic Party (PDL) disappeared. The executive committee of the PRD, which was headed by Garrigues himself, resigned from the party on 26 September 1986.[14]


  1. ^ Antich, José (15 May 1988). "El estrepitoso fracaso de la operación 'Roca'". El País. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b José Díaz Herrera (2009). Pedro J. Ramírez, al desnudo, Ediciones Akal, pág. 55
  3. ^ Interior Ministry of Spain. "Partido Reformista Democrático". Registry of Political Parties. Retrieved 16 December 2018.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Jauregui, Fernando (20 May 1983). "El Partido Reformista Democrático celebrará un 'acto preconstituyente' dentro de dos semanas". El País. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Roca y Garrigues perfilan la operación reformista". ABC. 5 July 1983. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Reunión en Madrid de representantes del Partido Reformista". El País. 6 July 1983. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b Félix Martínez, Jordi Oliveres (2005). Jordi Pujol: en nombre de Cataluña, Ed. Debate, pág. 265
  8. ^ Juan José Linz, José R. Montero (1999). The party systems of Spain: old cleavages and new challenges, Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Ciencias Sociales, pág. 31
  9. ^ "Los reformistas clausuran su congreso con la elección de Antonio Garrigues como presidente". El País. 26 November 1984. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  10. ^ José Díaz Herrera (2009). Pedro J. Ramírez, al desnudo, Ediciones Akal, pág. 56
  11. ^ Modesto Escobar Mercado et al. (2014). Los pronósticos electorales con encuestas: Elecciones generales en España (1979-2011), CIS, pp. 68-69
  12. ^ Modesto Escobar Mercado et al. (2014). Los pronósticos electorales con encuestas: Elecciones generales en España (1979-2011), CIS, pág. 68
  13. ^ a b Félix Martínez, Jordi Oliveres (2005). Jordi Pujol: en nombre de Cataluña, Ed. Debate, pág. 264
  14. ^ "Dimisión en el PRD". El País. 25 September 1986. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
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Democratic Reformist Party
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