Democratic Party of Serbia

Published 16th April, 2012

The Democratic Party of Serbia or DSS was founded in 1992 by a nationalistic faction of the Democratic Party (DS). It describes itself as centre-right and believes in national conservatism, Christian democracy and euro scepticism.

In 1992 the party contested the federal elections as part of the DEPOS opposition alliance which won around 50 seats of which the DSS took 18 seats. In 1993 the DSS stood independently and won seven seats in the National Assembly of Serbia and subsequently it joined the ‘Together’ alliance with the Democratic Party.

In 1996 as part of ‘Together’ the DSS took four seats in the federal assembly. The party boycotted the 1997 Serbian Assembly elections.

By 2000 the DSS leader, Vojislav Koštunica, had become the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) candidate for the presidential election which he won with an outright majority in the first round, taking 51.7%, a result which incumbent president Slobodan Milošević refused to accept. In the December general election the DSS also did well, taking 45 of the 176 DOS seats in the 250 seat National Assembly of Serbia.

Following a decision to extradite Slobodan Milošević to The Hague war crimes tribunal, Koštunica took his party out of the Serbian government in 2001. In the early election of 2003 the DSS took 53 seats in the 250 seat parliament and formed a coalition government with Vojislav Koštunica elected as prime minister in March 2004.

This was the high tide for the party and in the 2007 election the list headed by the DSS won 47 seats of which the DSS took 33 seats. Vojislav Koštunica was returned as prime minister but it was short lived as the government fell in 2008 and fresh elections were called.

In the 2008 general election the DSS dropped to 30 seats in coalition with New Serbia out of 250 seats in the parliament. They went into opposition and in 2012 they have decided to go it alone.

The Democratic Party of Serbia is a member of the International Democrat Union and a member of the Alliance of Democrats.

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