Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party
|Headquarters||Prague 2, Palác Charitas|
|Think tank||Institute of Political and
|Youth wing||Young Christian Democrats
|Women's wing||KDU-ČSL Women Association|
|Political position||Centre to centre-right|
|European affiliation||European People's Party|
|International affiliation||Centrist Democrat International|
|European Parliament group||European People's Party|
|Chamber of Deputies||
14 / 200
16 / 81
3 / 21
55 / 675
4,066 / 62,178
The Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party (Czech: Křesťanská a demokratická unie – Československá strana lidová, KDU–ČSL, often shortened to lidovci ('the populars') is a Christian-democratic political party in the Czech Republic. The party took part in almost every Czech Government since 1990. In the June 2006 election, the party won 7.2% of the vote and 13 out of 200 seats; but in the 2010 election, this dropped to 4.4% and they lost all their seats. The party regained its parliamentary standing in the 2013 legislative election winning 14 seats in the new parliament and thereby becoming the first party ever to return to the Chamber of Deputies after being dropped out.
- 1 History
- 2 Current situation
- 3 Internal Structure
- 4 Election results
- 5 Further reading
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Towards the end of the 19th century Roman Catholics in Bohemia and Moravia joined political movements inside Cisleithanian Austria-Hungary. The Christian-Social Party was set up in September 1894 in Litomyšl, and the Catholic National Party in Moravia was set up in September 1896 in Přerov.
Československá strana lidová (ČSL) was created in January 1919 in Prague, reuniting other Catholic parties, and Jan Šrámek was selected as its chairman. In 1921, ČSL entered the government of Czechoslovakia, and was subsequently part of governing coalitions regardless of political changes.
After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Šrámek served as head of Czechoslovak government in exile (in the United Kingdom). After 1945, ČSL was part of the national unity government, forming its most right-wing section. When the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia took over all power in February 1948, many ČSL officials were imprisoned. The party lost any real influence and was kept as a de facto puppet of Moscow-aligned communists (see National Front). In turn, it was allowed to keep a token presence of ČSL in government until 1989.
After the Velvet Revolution in 1989 ČSL attempted to shed its compromised figures and policies of the past: this included a change of name in 1992 after the merger with the Christian Democratic Union movement (which was a post-revolution attempt at more modern political Catholicism trying to emulate the German CDU, but lacking the strength of its traditional counterpart). KDU-ČSL was part of the governments of Václav Klaus's Civic Democratic Party (ODS) until its ministers left in autumn 1997 which triggered the government's fall; KDU-ČSL was also represented in the caretaker government of Josef Tošovský before the premature elections in 1998.
KDU–ČSL has relatively low but stable support of voters (6–10%); it is strongest in the traditionally Catholic rural areas in Moravia. Historically, it is a mass party with about 50,000 members (second after the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia); most of them are of old age, however, and recruitment of new members can't keep the membership numbers from declining. The influence of the party is rather bigger than that, as it tries – so far rather successfully – to take advantage of the fragmented Czech political situation and make itself a necessary part of any coalition, whether the winning big party be left- or right-wing.
In June 2002 KDU–ČSL went into the elections on a joint ballot with the Freedom Union–Democratic Union) (US–DEU) as the "Two-Coalition", which was the last remnant of an unsuccessful attempt to unite them with three smaller parties into the "Four-Coalition" which would provide an alternative to the practices of the "opposition agreement" of ODS and Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD). However it turned out that the KDU–ČSL's traditional voters identified much more strongly with their original party than the whole, unlike US–DEU's liberal city ones, and using preferential votes on evenly split ballots caused that KDU–ČSL gained 22 MPs to US–DEU's 9 even though both parties were of roughly equal strength. They entered the government again by forming a coalition with the winning Czech Social Democratic Party.
In 2003 Miroslav Kalousek was elected chairman; unlike his predecessor Cyril Svoboda he represents the right wing of KDU–ČSL favouring cooperation with ODS, which was a source of tension within the coalition. He refused to enter the government both after his election and the government’s reconstruction after PM Vladimír Špidla’s resignation, and finally on 19 February 2005 asked for the resignation of PM Stanislav Gross after his finance scandal broke out. Gross retaliated by threatening to remove KDU–ČSL from his cabinet; a government crisis ensued.
KDU–ČSL is a member of the European People's Party (EPP).
Cyril Svoboda became the party chairman on 30 May 2009. In reaction to his election, his predecessor Miroslav Kalousek led a split from the party to form TOP 09, as he considered Svoboda to be too far on the left wing of the party. In the 2010 Chamber of Deputies election, the party's vote dropped to 4.39%, and they lost every one of their seats to other parties. Svoboda resigned as a consequence of the results. In November Pavel Bělobrádek was elected on his stead. The Party reurned to the Parliament after 2013 election. On 12 april 217 KDU-ČSL signed an agreement with STAN to participate in 2017 legislative election as a coalition. Coalition will need to get more 10% of votes get over treshold.
KDU-ČSL had 27,662 Members in 2015 whichh is the second largest member base of any party in the Czech Republic. The number is decreasing 1990s when the party had 100,000 Members, It is caused by high average age of members.
KDU-ČSL is known to have very strong electoral core which is concentrated primarily in South Moravia. The party has very stable electoral support thanks to it and managed to gain seats in Chamber of Deputies everytime since 1990 with exception of 2010
Notable partners and suborganisations of the KDU-ČSL are:
- Young Christian Democrats - youth wing
- Young Populars - youth wing
- KDU-ČSL Women Association - women's wing
- Institute of Political and Economical Studies - think-tank.
- European Academy for Democracy - think-tank.
- European People's Party - European party
- Centrist Democrat International - political international
National Assembly of the Czechoslovak Republic
|Election||Votes||Share of votes in %||Seats obtained||Place|
33 / 281
31 / 300
25 / 300
22 / 300
46 / 300
Czech National Council
16 / 150
15 / 150
12 / 150
14 / 150
14 / 150
Czech National Council/Chamber of Deputies
20 / 200
15 / 200
18 / 200
20 / 200
31 / 200
13 / 200
0 / 200
14 / 200
|Election||First round||Second round||Seats gained|
13 / 81
5 / 27
8 / 27
1 / 27
0 / 27
4 / 27
0 / 27
2 / 27
1 / 27
4 / 27
6 / 27
* Places are by number of votes gained.
** The whole Senate was elected. Only one third of Senate was elected in all subsequent elections.
***Participated as Part of Four-Coalition
|Indirect Election||Candidate||First round result||Second round result||Third round result|
|Direct Election||Candidate||First round result||Second round result|
|2013||Zuzana Roithová||255,045||4.95||6th||supported Karel Schwarzenberg|
|Election||Votes||Share of votes in %||Seats obtained||Place|
- Brenner, Christiane (2004). Michael Gehler; Wolfram Kaiser, eds. A Missed Opportunity to Oppose State Socialism?: The People's Party in Chechoslavakia. Christian Democracy in Europe since 1945. Routledge. pp. 151–168. ISBN 0-7146-5662-3.
- Suppan, Arnold (2004). Catholic People's Parties in East Central Europe: The Bohemian Lands and Slovakia. Political Catholicism in Europe 1918-1945. 1. Routledge. pp. 178–192.
- "Stranám utíkají i vymírají členové po tisících". Novinky.cz. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- Terry, Chris. "Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party (KDU-CSL)". The Democratic Society. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- "Czech KDU-CSL congress re-elects Belobradek party chairman". České Noviny. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- "Czech KDU-CSL congress re-elects Belobradek party chairman". České Noviny. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
- Siaroff, Alan (2000). Comparative European party systems : an analysis of parliamentary elections since 1945 ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). New York [u.a.]: Garland. ISBN 0-8153-2930-X. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Q&A: Czech election". BBC News. 4 June 2006.
- "Středopravicová-konzervativní strana tu už existuje, říká Šojdrová. Je to KDU-ČSL!". KDU.cz. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Mgr. Jiří Junek". KDU.cz. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Lidovci představili volební program, slibují nižší daně". Novinky.cz. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- José Magone (26 August 2010). Contemporary European Politics: A Comparative Introduction. Routledge. pp. 456–. ISBN 978-0-203-84639-1. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- Velinger, Jan (26 October 2013). "Social Democrats win election but result is poorer than expected". Radio Prague. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- Rüdiger Alte (2003). Die Auenpolitik der Tschechoslowakei und die Entwicklung der internationalen Beziehungen 1946-1947. Oldenbourg Verlag. p. 45. ISBN 978-3-486-56617-8.
- televize, Česká. "Lidovci a Starostové podepsali koaliční smlouvu, za premiéra chtějí Bělobrádka". ČT24 (in Czech). Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- Martínek, Jan. "Stranám utíkají i vymírají členové po tisících". Novinky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- "Členům KSČM je v průměru 70 let, zjistila si strana". Novinky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "Stranám utíkají i vymírají členové po tisících". Novinky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "Základny tradičních politických stran klesají, mnohé partaje proto sbírají registrované příznivce | EuroZprávy.cz". Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "Sjezd KDU-ČSL rozhoduje o budoucnosti Čunka i celé strany". iDNES.cz. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- Šídlo, Jindřich (15 January 2008). "Lidovci jsou pro Klause". Hospodářské noviny (in Czech). Retrieved 16 January 2017.