Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party

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Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party
Slovenská demokratická a kresťanská únia
LeaderBranislav Rybárik
FounderMikuláš Dzurinda
Founded18 February 2000
Dissolved2 July 2016 (de facto)
Preceded bySlovak Democratic Coalition
HeadquartersZámocká 4771/22, 811 08 Bratislava
Youth wingNew Generation
Membership (2021)4 Steady[1]
IdeologyLiberal conservatism[2][3][4][5]
Christian democracy[6]
Economic liberalism[7][8]
Political positionCentre-right[12]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
Colours  Blue
SloganPre ľudí a o ľuďoch
(For people and about people)

The Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party (Slovak: Slovenská demokratická a kresťanská únia – Demokratická strana, SDKÚ-DS) is a liberal-conservative,[13] Christian-democratic[6] political party in Slovakia. The SDKÚ-DS was a member of the Centrist Democrat International and was a member of the European People's Party until 2018, when it was expelled due to inactivity.[14]

For 12 years, SDKÚ was a major centre-right political force in Slovakia. During their rule, Slovakia became member of the European Union and NATO, as well as put through economic reforms leading to the 00's economic boom. The party lost its significance in the 2012 parliamentary election, when it received only 6% of votes. In the 2016 election, it lost most of its MPs and received only 0.26% of votes.[15] The party became inactive afterwards.[16]



In 1998, SDK was created as coalition of five small centre-right and centre-left parties intending to contest the Slovak parliamentary elections that year. The initial agreement was to form a party with 150 members and dissolve it after elections in 1998. After successful 1998 elections, SDK formed government with KDH, SDĽ and SMK-MKP. This initial agreement was not successful, and Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda (KDH) announced formation of new party - Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ). Some SDK members joined the new party while others returned to their original parties. The new party was registered on 18 February 2000. On 18 November Constitution congress elected Mikuláš Dzurinda as chairman, vice chairmen being Edvard Kukan, Zuzana Martináková, Milan Kňažko and Ľubomír Harach. Gabriel Palacka became responsible for finances.

First time in government: 1998–2006[edit]

After its creation, majority of ministers of Slovak government were members of SDKÚ. SDKÚ was considered to be most reform oriented party. Its coalition partners were Party of the Hungarian Coalition, Party of Civic Understanding and Party of the Democratic Left.

In the parliamentary election of 17 June 2006, the party won 18.4% of the popular vote and 31 out of 150 seats in the National Council. Despite losing a large number of votes, the party was still able to form coalition government with former partners such as the Christian Democratic Movement, Party of the Hungarian Coalition and new party Alliance of the New Citizen. However, the opposition centre-left populist Smer-SD could able to form coalition with Slovak National Party and

Second time in government: 2010–2012[edit]

For the 2010 parliamentary election, Dzurinda yielded the number-one slot on the party's list to Iveta Radičová, though he remained party chairman. In this election, the party won 15.42% of popular vote corresponding to 28 seats in the National Council.[17][18] Iveta Radičová become the first female prime minister in history of Slovakia, by forming a new centre-right coalition government consisted of SDKÚ-DS, SaS, MOST-HÍD and KDH. By custom, president Ivan Gašparovič first gave charge to form a new government to winning party SMER-SD and its leader Robert Fico, who was unable to do so due to Smer-SD and SNS only having 71 seats.[19] The centre-right coalition Government collapsed on 11 October 2011 after lost confidence in parliament. Radičová subsequently decided not take candidacy in next elections and served as prime minister until a social democratic government took office on 4 April 2012.

2012 election[edit]

Mikuláš Dzurinda led party to 2012 parliamentary election. The party was defeated badly, receiving just 6.09% of the votes and losing more than half of its seats. Dzurinda chose to resign from his position as the chairman of SKDU, and a party congress was held on 19 May 2012 so that a new leader could be chosen. Pavol Frešo, Lucia Žitňanská and Viliam Novotný were the candidates, Frešo finally won with 242 out of 404 votes. Lucia Žitňanská received 142 votes and announced she will not be a candidate for the position of vice-chairperson.

Candidate first round % in first round second round % in second round
Pavol Frešo 178 46.48% 242 63.02%
Lucia Žitňanská 146 38.12% 142 36.98%
Viliam Novotný 59 15.40% - -
Total 383 100% 384 100%

In the 2014 European elections, SDKÚ-DS came third place nationally, receiving 7.75% of the vote and electing 2 MEPs.[20]

Out of 11 PMs elected in 2012 only 1 remained in the party as of 2015.[21]

2016 election[edit]

The party was led by Pavol Frešo. However, during the previous term SDKÚ-DS practically fell apart from inside, when its own members of parliament chose to leave the party. As a result, Frešo has a tough position and even if his campaign was led along with Slovak right-wing consensus against the SMER-SD party, it failed. While gaining only 0,27% of votes and losing 95% of its previous voters in the election of 5.3.2016, the party has received its worst result in history. SDKÚ-DS has won only in one village, Pavlovce in Rimavská Sobota District.[22] Frešo has commented that SDKÚ-DS as the only party has defended openly pro-European ideas, opposing the building of fences against the immigrants in European migrant crisis. The chairman said that the situation was a big challenge for the presidium.[23]

Decline and dissolution[edit]

A party congress was held on 2 July 2016. Pavol Frešo stepped down from leadership of the party. New Vice-Chairmans were elected. The leader was expected to be elected later in 2016.[24] It was reported in April 2018 that party de facto ceased to exist as it lacks membership and structure. The party was expelled from European People's Party as a result.[25] Igor Rattaj took over party's property and became owner of Party's trademark during September 2018. Rattaj stated that party is now only the Trademark and he will sell it if anyone expresses interest. Leader of the Party Milan Roman at the time ran for the position of Mayor in Skalice as an independent candidate.[16]

2023 election[edit]

Despite being de facto defunct, the party was running in the 2023 Slovak parliamentary election[26] led by Branislav Rybárik.[27] It received 771 votes and finished last.[28]


SDKÚ-DS were a centre-right liberal conservative party, presenting itself as an alternative to the social-democratic and populist ideology of the Direction – Social Democracy (Smer-SD) party. After the general elections in 2010, SDKÚ-DS reached an agreement with other centre-right parties and formed the government of Slovakia. The party criticised the policies of Robert Fico's Smer-SD party, calling them irresponsible, unsustainable and populist. SDKÚ-DS was the fifth largest party in the National Council during years 2012–2016. Its policy included continuing in reforms that took place before 2006, including tax reform, welfare benefits cuts, pensions reform, healthcare reform etc. SDKÚ-DS was then organised into four sections:

The main partners of SDKÚ-DS were politically similar parties: Christian Democratic Movement, Freedom and Solidarity, and Most-Híd. Until 2012, these parties were in a coalition government with SDKÚ-DS.

Election results[edit]

National Council[edit]

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Government
2002 Mikuláš Dzurinda 433,953 15.09 (#2)
28 / 150
Decrease 16 Coalition
2006 422,851 18.35 (#2)
31 / 150
Increase 3 Opposition
2010 Iveta Radičová 390,042 15.42 (#2)
28 / 150
Decrease 3 Coalition
2012 Mikuláš Dzurinda 155,744 6.09 (#5)
11 / 150
Decrease 17 Opposition
2016 Pavol Frešo 6,938 0.27 (#15)
0 / 150
Decrease 11 Extra-parliamentary
2020 Did not participate
0 / 150
Steady 0 Extra-parliamentary
2023 Branislav Rybárik 771 0.03 (#25)
0 / 150
Steady 0 Extra-parliamentary


Election Candidate First round Second round Result
Votes % Votes %
1999 Rudolf Schuster[29] 1,396,950 47.37 1,727,481 57.18 Won
2004 Eduard Kukan 438,920 22.10 Lost
2009 Iveta Radičová 713,735 38.05 988,808 44.47 Lost
2014 Pavol Hrušovský 63,298 3.33 Lost

European Parliament[edit]

Election Votes % Seats +/–
2004 119,954 17.09 (#1)
3 / 14
2009 140,426 16.98 (#2)
2 / 13
Decrease 1
2014 43,467 7.75 (#3)
2 / 13


  1. ^ "VS21_R_SDKU.pdf" (PDF). (document) (in Slovak). 29 April 2022. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  2. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2016). "Slovakia". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Pred 20 rokmi vznikla SDKÚ, založil ju Dzurinda s niektorými ministrami svojej vlády". 18 February 2020.
  4. ^ "SDKÚ - DS - Slovenská demokratická a kresťanská únia - Demokratická strana - politická strana".
  5. ^ "Ako ďalej Dzurinda? V SDKÚ je napätie". 10 October 2007.
  6. ^ a b Vít Hloušek; Lubomír Kopeček (2010). Origin, Ideology and Transformation of Political Parties: East-Central and Western Europe Compared. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 125–. ISBN 978-0-7546-7840-3.
  7. ^ "Slowakische Parlamentswahlen: Fico – mit populären Forderungen zurück an die Macht". (in German). 30 August 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  8. ^ Rogalska, Karin (12 March 2012). "Überfälliger Generationswechsel". (in German). Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  9. ^ Okladal, Martin (8 March 2016). "R.I.P. SDKÚ-DS". (in Slovak). Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  10. ^ "slovenske-politicke-strany-a-vstup-sr-do-europskej-unie-do-roku-2012.pdf" (PDF). (document) (in Slovak). 29 April 2022. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 May 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  11. ^ "VS21_R_ZZ.pdf" (PDF). (document) (in Czech). 29 April 2022. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  12. ^ Haughton, Tim; Rybář, Marek (2006), "All Right Now? Explaining the Successes and Failures of the Slovak Centre-Right", Centre-Right Parties in Post-Communist East-Central Europe, Routledge, p. 115, ISBN 9780415347815
  13. ^ Elisabeth Bakke (2010). Central and East European party systems since 1989. Cambridge University Press. pp. 78, 80. ISBN 978-1-139-48750-4. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  14. ^ "Európski ľudovci zo svojich radov vylúčili SDKÚ-DS, neplatila členské príspevky a prakticky neexistuje". (in Slovak). 10 April 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  15. ^ "R.I.P. SDKÚ-DS". (in Slovak). 7 March 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Majetok SDKÚ-DS dnes vlastní finančník Rattaj. Stranu chce predať". (in Slovak). 30 September 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  17. ^ "Vo?by do N?rodnej rady Slovenskej republiky" (in Slovak). Archived from the original on 6 September 2010. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  18. ^ "Vo?by do N?rodnej rady Slovenskej republiky" (in Slovak). Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  19. ^ (in Slovak)
  20. ^ "Elections to the European Parliament 2014". Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  21. ^ a. s, Petit Press (6 December 2015). "Frešo zostal sám. Kaník odišiel z SDKÚ a zakladá novú stranu" [Frešo left alone. Kaník has left SDKÚ and is founding a new party]. (in Slovak). Sme. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  22. ^ "Pozrite si, ako dopadli voľby vo vašej obci (Mapa)". 7 March 2016.
  23. ^ "Voľby na Slovensku".
  24. ^ "Strana SDKÚ-DS si zvolila nové vedenie: Frešo končí!". 2 July 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Európski ľudovci zo svojich radov vylúčili SDKÚ-DS, neplatila členské príspevky a prakticky neexistuje". (in Slovak). 10 April 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  26. ^ "Zoznam politických strán, politických hnutí a koalícií, ktoré podali kandidátnu listinu" (PDF). Ministerstvo vnútra Slovenskej republiky. Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  27. ^ Koválčik, Lukáš (20 July 2023). "Stránka SDKÚ-DS je totálny bizár: Modrý Avatar, memečká či motivačné citáty, líder strany je s ňou spokojný". (in Slovak). Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  28. ^ "Výsledky parlamentných volieb 2023 (kompletné výsledky)". (in Slovak). Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  29. ^ "Czech-Slovak Political Science Students' Union". Retrieved 12 December 2016.

External links[edit]