El Salvador

Christian Democratic Party

Published 6th February, 2012

The Christian Democratic Party or PDC was founded in 1960 by José Napoleón Duarte. It started life as a left of centre party, but over the years became more right wing. They describe themselves as centrist and believe in Christian democracy and Christian humanism.

On 30th April 2011 the party was disbanded by a Supreme Court decree because they failed to receive the minimum number of votes required in the 2004 presidential election. They can continue to play a role in politics but must meet the requirements of a new party, including having a membership of at least 5,000.

The party came to prominence in 1985 when it won 33 of the 60 seats in the Legislative Assembly and became the party of government. Its founder Duarte was elected president in 1972 but was forced to flee the country after a military coup. He returned in 1979 and in the December was appointed president. Duarte went on to rule as president from 1984 to 1989.

After the success of the 1985 legislative elections the party steadily declined, dropping to 22 seats in 1988 and 26 seats in an enlarged 80 seat Legislative Assembly in 1991.

By 2000 they were down to six seats and their presidential candidate failed to get the required 3% of the vote in 2004, leading to their subsequent disbandment. They currently hold five seats in the Legislative Assembly.

The Christian Democratic Party is a member of the Centrist Democrat International and the Christian Democrat Organisation of America.

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