Liberal Democracy of Slovenia

Published 25th November, 2011

The Liberal Democracy of Slovenia or LDS was founded in 1994 as a merger between the Liberal Democratic Party (LDS) and the three smaller groups, a faction of the Democratic Party of Slovenia, the Greens – Ecological-Social Party and the Socialist Party of Slovenia (SSS). It describes itself as centre-left and believes in liberalism and social liberalism.

The party had its heyday when it won the 1992, 1996 and 2000 elections in a row, each time having to form a coalition government, but nevertheless were instrumental in many of the changes leading to the parliamentary democracy we see in Slovenia today.

In 1992 they won 22 of the 90 seats in the National Assembly with 23.5% of the vote. That went up to 25 seats in 1996 with 27.01% of the vote and to 34 seats, their peak point, in 2000 when they took 36.21% of the vote. For all but a brief period in 2000 their leader and prime minister was Janez Drnovšek until he won the 2002 presidential election.

The 2004 election was, however, a disaster. They dropped to 23 seats and 22.8% of the vote, although they came second still within the parliament. Nevertheless, after the elections the party started to disintegrate and lost a number of its key members to other parties.

The result was that the party was badly weakened and in the 2008 election they won just five seats and 5.21% of the vote, coming into seventh place within the National Assembly. They joined the Social Democrat coalition government of Borut Pahor soon after the election.

The Liberal Democracy of Slovenia is a member of Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. The party has one of the seven national seats in the European Parliament and is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe bloc.

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