Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party
|Split from||Slovak Democratic Coalition|
|European affiliation||European People's Party|
|International affiliation||Centrist Democrat International|
|European Parliament group||European People's Party|
|Colours||Blue and white|
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The Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party (Slovak: Slovenská demokratická a kresťanská únia – Demokratická strana, SDKÚ-DS) is a liberal conservative and Christian democratic political party in Slovakia. The SDKÚ-DS is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and Centrist Democrat International.
SDKÚ was a major right-wing party in Slovakia for 12 years. Slovakia became member of European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. SDKÚ was marginalized after 2012 parliamentary election when it received only 6% of votes. In another four years it lost the most of its MPs and the party received only 0.26% of votes in 2016 leaving it without parliamentary representation.
Management of the party
- Pavol Frešo – chairman
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SDKÚ-DS is a centre-right party, presenting itself as an alternative to the social-democratic ideology of the Direction – Social Democracy (Smer-SD) party. After the general elections, SDKÚ-DS reached an agreement with other centre-right parties and formed the government of Slovakia. The party has 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 includes continuing in reforms that took place before 2006, including tax reform, welfare benefits cuts, pensions reform, healthcare reform etc. SDKÚ-DS is currently organised into four sections:
- Team for recovery and modernisation, led by Ivan Mikloš,
- Team for a dignified life, led by Iveta Radičová,
- Anti-crisis team, led by newcomer Eugen Jurzyca,
- Team for law and justice, led by Lucia Žitňanská.
The main partners of SDKÚ-DS are politically similar parties: Christian Democratic Movement, Freedom and Solidarity, and Most-Híd. Until 2012, these parties were in a coalition government with SDKU-DS.
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 17 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.
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, 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.
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. Iveta Radičová become the first female prime minister in history of Slovakia, by forming a new centre-right 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. 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 socialist government took office on 4 April 2012.
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|
Out of 11 PMs elected in 2012 only 1 remained in the party as of 2015.
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 alongside 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. Frešo has commented that SDKÚ-DS as the only party has defended openly the European ideas, opposing the building of fences against the immigrants in European migrant crisis. The chairman said that current situation is a big challenge for the presidium.
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 is expected to be elected later in 2016.
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- "Dankov nápad môže odstaviť SaS, OĽaNO, Kollára aj Kotlebu". aktuality.sk. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- 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
- Elisabeth Bakke (2010). Central and East European party systems since 1989. Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989. Cambridge University Press. pp. 78, 80. ISBN 978-1-139-48750-4.
- 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.
- "R.I.P. SDKÚ-DS". aktuality.sk (in Slovak). Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- http://www.volbysr.sk/nrsr2010/sr/tab3_sk.html (in Slovak)
- http://www.volbysr.sk/nrsr2010/sr/tab4_sk.html (in Slovak)
- http://www.sme.sk/c/5422317/prezident-dal-ficovi-desat-dni.html (in Slovak)
- "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. 6 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- "Strana SDKÚ-DS si zvolila nové vedenie: Frešo končí!". Cas.sk. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- As Slovak Democratic Coalition
- "Czech-Slovak Political Science Students' Union". cpssu.org. Retrieved 12 December 2016.