Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party

Published 31st January, 2012

The Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party or SDKÚ-DS was formed from the Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK) which was founded June 1997. The party describes itself as centre-right and believes in Liberal conservatism and Christian democracy.

In 1998 the SDK along with the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), the Democratic Party (DS), the Social Democratic Party of Slovakia (SDSS) and the Green Party of Slovakia (SZS) came together to defeat the government of Vladimír Mečiar, the People’s Party – Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). Although they failed to take the top spot, the coalition did take 42 of the 150 seats in the National Council in the 2008 election. Despite this, the alliance was able to form a minority coalition which included the Party of the Democratic Left (SDL), the Party of Civic Understanding (SOP) and the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK).

In January 2000, Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda announced the formation of the SDKU, although the old party and its five factions remained as such within the parliament. In the same year the party joined forces with the Democratic Union and the Union of Businessmen and Tradesmen.

In 2002 the SDKU won 28 seats in the 150 seat National Council and was able to form another coalition government with the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), the Hungarian Coalition (MK) and the Alliance of the New Citizen (ANO) giving them 78 of the 150 seats.

By November 2003 the party saw some defections to a new party, the Free Forum (SF). In 2005 the
Alliance of the New Citizen (ANO) left the coalition and then in 2006 the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH).

In January 2006 the party merged with the Democratic Party and took on its current name. In the general election of 2006 the party won 31 seats and went into opposition to Direction – Social Democracy (Smer). In 2010, the SDKÚ-DS won 28 seats, some 34 seats behind Smer, but because of the decimation of Smer’s coalition partners the SDKÚ-DS were able to build a coalition government around Iveta Radičová their party leader and new prime minister.

By 2011 the coalition was falling apart and the government failed to win a vote over the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). The bill was passed later that same week but only after the opposition had extracted a promise to call an election in March 2012.

The Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party is a member of Centrist Democrat International and is affiliated to the European People’s Party within the European Parliament where they have two of the 13 national seats.

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