Slovenian Democratic Party

Published 25th November, 2011

The Slovenian Democratic Party or SDS was originally known as the Social Democratic Party of Slovenia (SDSS) which in turn became the Social Democratic Party before adopting its current name in 2003. The party can trace back its history to two powerful parties which won the first multi-party elections in 1990 under the title DEMOS (Democratic Opposition of Slovenia); they were the Social Democratic Alliance of Slovenia and the Slovenian Democratic Union, both of which were founded in 1989.

The party describes itself as centre-right and believes in conservatism, liberal conservatism, Christian democracy and national conservatism as well as pro-Europeanism.

The two parties which went on to form the DEMOS government of 1990 soon found that government in coalition was going to be difficult. In short time the DEMOS coalition was arguing and by 1992 it had collapsed and fresh elections were called.

In the 1992 elections the party was now called the Social Democratic Party of Slovenia (SDSS) and managed to win four seats and take 3.3% of the vote, a drop of two seats from its previous form. Nevertheless they did take part in the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia (LDS) led government, but that only lasted until March 1994 when they joined the opposition benches.

In 1996 the SDSS did very well and took an additional 12 seats to bring their tally to 16 in the 90 seat National Assembly.. That put them in third place with 16.3% of the vote.

In the 2000 elections they fell back slightly, taking 14 seats with 15.8% of the vote, but it did make them the second largest party in parliament.

The breakthrough came in the 2004 elections when the party won 29 seats and 29.08% of the vote, making them the largest party. Their leader, Janez Janša became the new prime minister in a coalition government with four other parties.

The SDS did well in the 2008 elections as well, taking 28 seats and 29.26% of the vote. They were, however, just beaten into second place by the Social Democrats (SD) who took 29 seats and who were able to build s four party coalition around them. The SDS were back in opposition, but in a strong position for the future.

The Slovenian Democratic Party is a member of the Centrist Democrat International as well as the International Democrat Union. The SDS is also a member of the European Parliament’s European People’s Party bloc where it has two of the seven national seats.

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