Democratic Party (Slovakia)

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The Democratic Party (Slovak: Demokratická strana) was the name of two political parties in Slovakia, one active between 1944 and 1948, and the other between 1989 and 2006.

1940s[edit]

The historical Democratic Party arose in 1944 during the Slovak National Uprising as a party for all non-Communist participants (i.e. the counterpart of the Communist Party of Slovakia). In the 1946 elections in Czechoslovakia, the party won as much as 62% of votes in Slovakia, but was liquidated in 1947-1948 by the Communists, who had a majority in the central government in Prague (because as opposed to Slovakia, it was the Communists who won the 1946 elections in Czechia). The rest of the party was transformed into the pseudo-party Party of Slovak Revival (Strana slovenskej obrody) within the see National Front (Czechoslovakia).

1990s and 2000s[edit]

In December 1989, i.e. at the end of the Velvet Revolution, a new Democratic Party was created by transformation of the Party of Slovak Revival. When it was founded, it saw itself a continuation of the historical Democratic Party.

It won 7 seats out of 150 in the Slovak parliament (Slovak National Council) and no seats in the federal parliament in 1990, but no seats in any parliament in 1992.

In 1994, the party was "recreated" by a merge with the parties:

  • Občiansko-demokratická únia (ODÚ, Civic Democratic Union, i.e. the remnants of the former Public Against Violence party)
  • Občianska demokratická strana Slovenska (Civic Democratic Party of Slovakia)
  • Demokrati 92 (Democrats 92)
  • Hnutie česko-slovenského porozumenia (Movement of Czech-Slovak comprehension)
  • Zelená liga (The Green League)

The new chairman of the party was P. Hagyari, and the vice-chairman was Ivan Mikloš, the finance minister of Slovakia in 2010 - 2012.

In the 1994 parliamentary election, the party run for parliamentary seats together with the Strana podnikateľov a živnostníkov (Party of Entrepreneurs and businessmen), but again won no seats. Hagyari was replaced by Ján Langoš, the former minister of the interior of Czechoslovakia, in 1995.

In the 1998 election, the party run for parliamentary seats within the coalition (later party) Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK), so that many candidates of the Democratic Party got into the parliament as candidates of the SDK. In the course of the subsequent dissolution of the Slovak Democratic Coalition in 2001, some members left the Democratic Party (Ivan Mikloš, for example, became a chairman of the newly founded Slovak Democratic and Christian Union), and František Šebej became the new chairman for short time and was quickly replaced by Ľudovít Kaník.

In the 2002 election, the party run for parliamentary seats together with the parties Civic Conservative Party (OKS, led by Ján Langoš) and Liberal-Democratic Union (LDÚ, led by Ján Budaj), both of which arose in the course of the dissolution of the SDK. Shortly before the election however the party withdraw its candidature and recommended its voters to vote for the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) of Mikuláš Dzurinda. This was due to an agreement with the SDKÚ, according to which Ľudovít Kaník, the chairman of the Democratic Party, received one seat in the new 2002 government - the seat of the minister of social affairs and family. After a scandal, however, Kaník left the government in October 2005 and talks about a merge of the Democratic Party with the SDKÚ were announced.

The extraordinary party congress held on December 17, 2005 approved that the party be merged with the SDKÚ (whose name will change to SDKÚ-DS). The merger was approved by a SDKÚ congress held on January 21, 2006.