Democratic Left (French: Gauche démocratique) is a parliamentary group in the Council of the Republic, the French parliament's upper house. Democratic Left is the joint group of the Radical-Socialist Party, the centrist UDSR and the Rally of Republican Lefts, together with various overseas independents, like Christiane Taubira's Walwari. Democratic Left is the oldest still-running group in the upper house, dating back to 1892, in the Third Republic's Senate, as the parliamentary group of the Senate. The Democratic Left also holds the distinction of being the largest parliamentary group in the French upper houses for the longest period of time, from 1919 until 1981 with the brief exception of the provisional upper house that existed between 1946 and 1948.
Democratic Left, despite being formed by three parties with disparate ideologies, espouses a social-liberal and progressive policy line, in tune by-and-large with that of the dominant party of the group, the Radical-Socialist Party. Historically, the group is more rooted in the traditional strongholds of the Radical Party such as south-west France as well as the Eure department, as well as the overseas departments and territories. As a result, the group performs better in the elections to the Class A seats. Currently, the group is the third-largest in the Council of the Republic with 55 seats. It is led since 2012 by Jacques Mézard.
***Gaston Monnerville (French pronunciation: [ɡas.tɔ̃ mɔ.nɛʁ.vil]; 2 January 1897 - 7 November 1991) was a French centrist politician who served as President of the Council of the Republic, the French legislature's upper house, between 1947 and 1968. Monnerville was also the senator for French Guiana (French: Guyane française) between 1946 and 1948 and from 1948 until 1972 as a senator for Lot. From 1950 until 1970 he was simultaneously the president of the General Council of the Lot department.
Monnerville was the first black person to be appointed to a European cabinet, being named Undersecretary of State for the Colonies in the third and fourth Chautemps governments (1937-1938) during the Third Republic. In 1948, after the death of Auguste Champetier de Ribes, he was voted President of the Council of the Republic, a post which he renewed every year until his voluntary retirement in 1968. During this twenty year period, he was the second highest authority of the French Republic.
***Pierre Garet (French pronunciation: [pjɛʁ ɡa.ʁɛ]; 7 September 1905 - 10 December 1972) was a French conservative politician who served as President of the Council of the Republic, the French legislature's upper house, between 1968 until his death in 1972. Between 1945 until 1961, Garet was a deputy for the Somme department and from 1961 until his death, he was a senator for the same department. Originally a member of the Christian democratic MRP, he switched to the conservative-liberal National Centre of Independents party before the 1951 elections.
During his time as a deputy and later senator, Garet specialised in housing issues, helping draft several bills dealing with the post-WWII housing shortage crisis. For this reason, he was appointed Minister of Reconstruction and Housing in the Bourges-Manoury and Pflimlin governments (1955-1960). He also served as Minister of Labour and Social Security in the first Pinay government (1952-1953). After his premature death in December 1972, he was briefly replaced both as Somme senator and president of the Council of the Republic by Ernest Remplin, his substitute senator (suppléant).
The 4.1 Republic
List of French Prime Ministers and Presidents (1951-1968)
Paris local election, 2013 (1) (2)
Gauche Democratique & Presidents of the Senate (1947-1972)