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Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party

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[2][3] political party in the Czech Republic. The party has taken 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,[11] thereby becoming the first party ever to return to the Chamber of Deputies after dropping out.

Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party

Křesťanská a demokratická unie – Československá strana lidová
LeaderMarek Výborný
Deputy LeadersŠárka Jelínková
Jan Bartošek
Petr Hladík
Štěpán Matek
Bohuslav Niemiec
Secretary GeneralPavel Hořava
Chamber of Deputies LeaderJan Bartošek
Senate LeaderPetr Šilar
MEP LeaderMichaela Šojdrová
FounderJan Šrámek
Founded3 January 1919
Merger ofMSKSSM, KNKSM, ČKSSČ, KNKSČ, KSL
HeadquartersPrague 2, Palác Charitas
NewspaperNew Voice
Think tankInstitute of Political and
Economical Studies
Youth wingYoung Christian Democrats
Young Populars
Women's wingKDU-ČSL Women Association
Membership22,000[1]
IdeologyChristian democracy[2][3]
Social conservatism[4][5]
Pro-Europeanism[6][7]
Political positionCentre[8][9] to centre-right[10]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
Colors     Yellow
Chamber of Deputies
10 / 200
Senate
15 / 81
European Parliament
2 / 21
Regional councils
55 / 675
Governors of the regions
1 / 13
Local councils
4,066 / 62,178
Party flag
Flag of KDU-ČSL
Website
www.kdu.cz

Contents

HistoryEdit

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.[12] 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 and Democratic Union (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.

Current situationEdit

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.

After the 2006 legislative elections and lengthy negotiations caused by stalemated result, the KDU–ČSL formed a government together with the ODS and the Green Party (SZ).

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 returned to the Parliament after 2013 election, becoming the so far only party in the history of Czech republic to achieve a return after defeat in elections. On 12 April 2017, 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 threshold.[13]

Internal StructureEdit

 
Pavel Bělobrádek, leader of the party in 2010–2019

MembershipEdit

KDU-ČSL had 27,662 Members in 2015 which 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.[14]

1991 1992 1999 2008 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
95,435 88,000 60,000 40,000[15] 33,000 29,976 28,541 27,662[16] 26,420[17]

Party StrongholdsEdit

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[18]

PartnersEdit

Notable partners and suborganisations of the KDU-ČSL are:

SymbolsEdit

Party patron is Saint Wenceslaus, on every congress is played Saint Wenceslas Chorale. Members addressing themselves as brothers and sisters.

Party had many symbols thru history, current logo depicts symbol of Christian cross on linden leaf.[19]

Election resultsEdit

National Assembly of the Czechoslovak RepublicEdit

Election Leader Votes Share of votes in % Seats obtained Place Position
1920 Collective 699,728 11.3
33 / 281
2nd 1920-1921 Opposition
1921-1925 Government
1925 Jan Šrámek 691,238 9.7
31 / 300
3rd Government
1929 Jan Šrámek 623,340 8.4
25 / 300
5th Government
1935 Jan Šrámek 615,804 7.5
22 / 300
6th Government
1946 Jan Šrámek 1,111,009 15.7
46 / 300
3rd Government

Czech National CouncilEdit

Year Seats
1968
16 / 150
1971
15 / 150
1976
12 / 150
1981
14 / 150
1986
14 / 150

Czech National Council/Chamber of DeputiesEdit

Year Leader Vote Vote % Seats Place Government
1990 Josef Bartončík 607,137 8.42
20 / 200
4th KDU-ČSL–OF
1992 Josef Lux 406,341  6.28 
15 / 200
5th  ODS–KDU-ČSL–ODA
1996 Josef Lux 489,349  8.08 
18 / 200
4th  ODS–KDU-ČSL–ODA
1998 Josef Lux 537,013  8.99 
20 / 200
4th in opposition
2002 Cyril Svoboda 680,670  14.27 
31 / 200
4th ČSSD–KDU-ČSL–US-DEU
2006 Miroslav Kalousek 386,706  7.23 
13 / 200
4th ODS–KDU-ČSL–SZ
2010 Cyril Svoboda 229,717  4.39 
0 / 200
6th  extra-parliamentary
2013 Pavel Bělobrádek 336.970  6.78 
14 / 200
7th  ČSSD–ANO–KDU-ČSL
2017 Pavel Bělobrádek 293,643  5.80 
10 / 200
7th In opposition

SenateEdit

Election First round Second round Seats gained
Votes % Places* Votes % Places*
1996** 274,316 9.9 4th 247,819 10.7 3rd
13 / 81
1998*** 255,785 26.6 2nd 166,483 31.0 2nd
5 / 27
2000 121,355 14.1 4th 137,515 24.4 2nd
8 / 27
2002 58,858 8.8 4th 47,049 5.7 4th
1 / 27
2004 97,956 13.5 3rd 54,501 11.4 3rd
0 / 27
2006 125,388 11.8 4th 59,603 10.4 3rd
4 / 27
2008 82,870 7.9 - 42,225 5.13 -
0 / 27
2010 87,182 7.6 4th 42,990 6.32 4th
2 / 27
2012 61,006 6.94 4th 14,995 2.92 4th
1 / 27
2014 84,328 8.21 5th 77,103 16.27 2nd
4 / 27
2016 74,709 8.48 5th 78,448 18.50 2nd
6 / 27
2018 99,383 9.12 4th 34,833 8.33 5th
2 / 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

PresidentialEdit

Indirect Election Candidate First round result Second round result Third round result
Votes %Votes Result Votes %Votes Result Votes %Votes Result
1993 Václav Havel 109 63.37 Won
1998 Václav Havel 130 70.65 Runner-up 146 52.3 Won
2003 Jan Sokol 128 46.55 Runner-up 129 48.13 Runner-up 124 46.6 Lost
2008 Václav Klaus[20] 141 50.90 Runner-up 141 52.81 Runner-up 141 55.95 Won
Direct Election Candidate First round result Second round result
Votes %Votes Result Votes %Votes Result
2013 Zuzana Roithová 255,045 4.95 6th supported Karel Schwarzenberg
2018 Jiří Drahoš 1,369,601 26.60 Runner-up 2,701,206 48.63 Lost

European ParliamentEdit

Election Votes Share of votes in % Seats obtained Place
2004
223,383
9.57
2 / 24
4th
2009
180,451 
7.64 
2 / 22
4th 
2014
150,792 
9.95 
3 / 21
5th 

Local electionEdit

Year Vote Vote % Seats
1990 12.2%
1994 9,260,542 7.23 7,616
1998 7,206,346  11.18  7,121 
2002 7,728,402  9.58  6,013 
2006 6,263,980  5.76  5,049 
2010 4,938,960  5.47  3,738 
2014 4,865,956  4.91  3,792 

Regional electionEdit

Year Vote Vote % Seats Places
2000 537,012 22.86
171 / 675
2nd
2004 226,016  10.67 
72 / 675
4th 
2008 193,911  6.65 
56 / 675
4th 
2012 261,724  9.87 
61 / 675
4th 
2016 159,610  6.30 
55 / 675
5th 

Further readingEdit

  • 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.

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Lidovců ubývá každoročně o tisíc". Parlamentní listy. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "Czechia". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  3. ^ a b José Magone (26 August 2010). Contemporary European Politics: A Comparative Introduction. Routledge. pp. 456–. ISBN 978-0-203-84639-1. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  4. ^ Terry, Chris. "Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party (KDU-CSL)". The Democratic Society. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Czech KDU-CSL congress re-elects Belobradek party chairman". České Noviny. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Evropa je prostorem společných hodnot". kdu.cz (in Czech). 10 December 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Pavel Bělobrádek: Některé Čunkovy výroky o EU mohou být důsledkem nedostatku informací, možná i vzdělání" (in Czech). 23 April 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Q&A: Czech election". BBC News. 4 June 2006.
  9. ^ https://www.kdu.cz/moje-kdu/stante-se-clenem
  10. ^ "Středopravicová-konzervativní strana tu už existuje, říká Šojdrová. Je to KDU-ČSL!". KDU.cz. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  11. ^ Velinger, Jan (26 October 2013). "Social Democrats win election but result is poorer than expected". Radio Prague. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ televize, Česká. "Lidovci a Starostové podepsali koaliční smlouvu, za premiéra chtějí Bělobrádka". ČT24 (in Czech). Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  14. ^ Martínek, Jan. "Stranám utíkají i vymírají členové po tisících". Novinky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Členům KSČM je v průměru 70 let, zjistila si strana". Novinky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Stranám utíkají i vymírají členové po tisících". Novinky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Základny tradičních politických stran klesají, mnohé partaje proto sbírají registrované příznivce | EuroZprávy.cz". Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Sjezd KDU-ČSL rozhoduje o budoucnosti Čunka i celé strany". iDNES.cz. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  19. ^ https://www.kdu.cz/getmedia/753ba290-b80c-4c01-a6f9-611b5bf8effe/KDU_manual_2012.aspx
  20. ^ Šídlo, Jindřich (15 January 2008). "Lidovci jsou pro Klause". Hospodářské noviny (in Czech). Retrieved 16 January 2017.

External linksEdit