Croatian Social Liberal Party
|Croatian Social Liberal Party
Hrvatska socijalno-liberalna stranka
|Founded||20 May 1989|
|International affiliation||Liberal International|
|European affiliation||European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party|
Croatian Social Liberal Party (Croatian: Hrvatska socijalno liberalna stranka) or HSLS is an extra-parliamentary conservative liberal political party in Croatia. The party is a member of Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. Its current president is Darinko Kosor, elected to that post in November 2009.
The HSLS was formed on 20 May 1989 as Croatian Social Liberal Union (Croatian: Hrvatski socijalno liberalni savez). It was the first Croatian political party formed after the reintroduction of multi-party system. As such it was part of Coalition of People's Accord during the first free elections in 1990. Its first leader was Slavko Goldstein, succeeded in 1990 by Dražen Budiša, who remained the leader until 1995. HSLS became the main opposition party after 1992 presidential and parliamentary elections and remained such until late 1990s.
In 1998 HSLS created permanent coalition with Social Democratic Party, which won elections two years later, replaced ruling Croatian Democratic Union and formed the new government together with four other parties.
However, after the party split in 2002 (the forming of LIBRA), HSLS left the government.
At the Croatian parliamentary election, 2003, an alliance of the HSLS and the Democratic Centre won 4.0% of the popular vote and 3 out of 151 seats. Two of these seats were held by the HSLS, down from 25 in 2000, causing Budiša to submit his resignation as president. After elections the HSLS supported the government of Ivo Sanader. In 2004, Ivan Čehok was elected party president.
After the Croatian local elections, 2005 it was announced that there are merger negotiations between HSLS and the Liberal Party. The latter dissolved itself, with membership and party infrastructure re-joining HSLS in January 2006. Đurđa Adlešić succeeded Ivan Čehok as the leader of reunited party.
Before the 2007 elections, HSLS, although still in government announced joint election ticket with opposition parties - Croatian Peasant Party and Alliance of Primorje-Gorski Kotar. This coalition as a whole lost five seats compared to the previous election, but HSLS retained their two seats. They remained in the governing coalition under Ivo Sanader.
HSLS continued to support the government of Jadranka Kosor until July 10, 2010 when Darinko Kosor, the leader of the Croatian Social Liberal Party, announced his party's decision to leave the governing coalition. This resulted in the party's two parliamentary representatives Ivan Čehok and Antun Korušec leaving the party. Since 14. July 2010, HSLS have no representatives in Parliament for the first time in party's history.
In recent years by supporting Ivo Sanader, HSLS moved from social liberalism to conservative liberalism. This was considered unpopular, and party's decline in political influence resumed. However, with the change in the party's leadership and victory of Darinko Kosor the party has returned to a more social-liberal stance.
Election history 
The following is a summary of the party's results in legislative elections for the Croatian parliament. The "Total votes" and "Percentage" columns include sums of votes won by pre-election coalitions HSLS had been part of and the "Total seats" column includes sums of seats won by HSLS in election constituencies plus representatives of ethnic minorities affiliated with HSLS.
|Election||In coalition with||Votes won||Percentage||Seats won||Change|
|(Coalition totals)||(HSS only)|
|April–May 1990||KNS / HDZ ||0 / 80|
|August 1992||None||466,356||17.71||14 / 138||+14|
|October 1995||None||279,245||11.55||12 / 127||-2|
|January 2000||SDP-PGS-SBHS||1,138,318||38.70||25 / 151||+13|
|November 2003||DC||100,335||4.0||2 / 151||-23|
|November 2007||HSS-PGS||161,814||6.50||2 / 153||0|
|December 2011||None||71,077||3.00||0 / 151||-2|
The following is a list of presidential candidates who were endorsed by HSLS.
- 1992 – Dražen Budiša (HSLS) (Finished second, with 21.87% of votes in the first round)
- 1997 – Vlado Gotovac (HSLS) (Finished third, with 17.6% of votes in the first round)
- 2000 – Dražen Budiša (HSLS) (Finished second with 27.8% of votes in the first round and as runner-up in the run-off with 43.99% of votes)
- 2005 – Đurđa Adlešič (HSLS) (Finished fourth with 2.68% of votes in the first round)
- 2009–10 – Ivo Josipović (SDP) (Finished first with 32.42% of votes in the first round and won the run-off with 60.26% of votes)
See also 
- Butković, Davor (21 February 2009). "Kako smo osnivali HSLS (i je li umro)?". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- "Croatia". Parties and Election. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- Kasapović, Mirjana (30 July 2012). "HSS i HSP, historijske stranke otišle su u povijest, a HSLS je propao". Obzor (in Croatian).
- "Povijest i program" (in Croatian). Croatian Social Liberal Party. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- Official website (Croatian)