During late 2013 Berlusconi decided to re-found his old party FI (Forza Italia old party 1994-2009 and Forza Italia new party, while Alfano, who was secretary of PdL (Popolo delle Libertà - People of Freedom), disagreed. I was a bit surprised when Alfano was regarded as a secessionist, and was even more surprised when he announced he was going to found a new party and dissolve the PdL.

I would have guessed he could just keep PdL for himself and for whoever wanted to stay, and clearly label Berlusconi as a secessionist.

So, (a) there was some specific provision in PdL bylaws permitting Berlusconi to "just shut it down", regardless if he still was secretary and regardless of what the members wanted? (I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case)

Or (b) there actually was some kind of vote, and it was voted to shut down?

If neither (a) nor (b), I can't understand why would Alfano consider best to found a new small party instead of keeping an established one, unless he was playing against himself on purpose.

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    For those of us less literate in Italian Politics, could you explain what the abbreviations FI and PdL stand for?
    – Karlomanio
    Mar 28 '19 at 18:33
  • 1
    "secessionist" is usually a term used to refer to advocating that a geographic region of a state leave that state. Italy has historically had several secessionist political movements. But, I think you are simply using this term in the question to refer to someone who is leaving a political party, a circumstance not usually called "secessionist" in English. It seems like you are discussing a "who dumped who?" issue. Could you clarify what you mean? And, why does it matter?
    – ohwilleke
    Nov 17 '20 at 3:17

Politically speaking it was the (a), but technically both the options: Popolo delle Libertà party (PdL) was called the "partito-azienda" (company-party) of Berlusconi and usually anything he decided was confirmed by the party.

Anyway, there was a vote of the party where was decided:

...the suspension of the activities of the People of Liberty, to converge towards the relaunch of "Forza Italia" already publicly announced by President Berlusconi with an appeal to all Italians... ...entrusts President Berlusconi with a full political and legal mandate to activate the necessary procedures, also through the convening of the statutory bodies, for the implementation of this Political Deliberation and gives him the responsibilities related to the leadership of the Movement to define the objectives, times and methods of the new phase of activity according to the Statute of "Forza Italia"

Source (italian)

Alfano told that his decision wasn't a "split" (secession) because the PdL was shutted down and did not exists anymore (the name was used to define the coalition).

they point out, it is not a question of a split: simply, a part of the party that Berlusconi himself has sentenced to death, does not find itself in the new that is born. They had asked for internal guarantees (apart from Berlusconi's undisputed leadership, primary and shared choices in all positions) and a statement of support for the government read until 2015.

Source (italian)

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