Christian-Democratic Movement (Krestansko-demokraticke hnuti, KDH)

Christian-Democratic Movement was  formed  in  the  wake  of  the Velvet Revolution by dissidents and other elements of the Catholic anti-communist opposition in Slovakia. In the first free elections in Czechoslovakia in 1990 KDH received almost one fifth of the votes in the Slovak part of the Federation. KDH joined the coalition governments both on the level of the Republic and also on the federal level. The Government of the Slovak Republic formed with the winning VPN and DS and government of the Federation with Civic Forum, the winner of the elections in the Czech Republic. In 1991 internal struggle in the senior coalition partner VPN led to the division of the party, and in order to secure the continuation of the coalition VPN offered the post of prime minister to KDH’s chairman, Ján  Čarnogurský.  In the 1992 general election  KDH  suffered  great losses, gaining just 8.9 percent of the vote. Its coalition partners fared even worse and failed to enter the National Council. Following the election victory of HZDS, KDH went into opposition where it stayed until Mečiar’s first government fell in 1994. In 1994 KDH, together with other opposition forces, formed a provisional government which led Slovakia until the 1994 general election. Before the election of 1998 KDH joined forces with other opposition parties from both the right and the left of the political spectrum and formed the political party  Slovak  Democratic  Coalition. The leader of SDK was prominent KDH figure Mikuláš Dzurinda. In the explosive election that followed, the parties of the anti-Mečiar opposition succeeded in keeping HZDS and SNS from power. However, shortly after the formation of the government disagreement arose in SDK between those who preferred to fully integrate the original parties into SDK and those who insisted on the autonomy of the original parties of the Coalition. This conflict was resolved when Dzurinda and his followers left KDH and formed the new party SDKÚ. In the general election of 2002 KDH failed to maintain its position  as  the  strongest  right  wing party  when  it  picked  up  just  8.25 percent  of  the  vote,  half  as  many  as  SDKÚ.  Both parties, together with SMK and ANO, formed the government. After several conflicts with its coalition partners, KDH finally left the coalition six months before the  scheduled  election in  2006.

  2009 2014
Election gains
Votes 10.87% 13.21%
Seats 2 2

Election manifesto 2006

KDH regarded the Slovak nation as a community of common Christian culture and shared life experiences. For the party the ethnicity of citizens was not important, nor was the specific national culture he embraces or the language he is speaking. Of more importance is whether he shares the wider cultural heritage of Christian civilization or if he is ready to embrace and accept this paradigm. From this attitude towards cultural differences were derived policies that the manifesto was advocating for. This is the case in particular for asylum policies: KDH called for cautious asylum inquiries in order to prevent misuse of this institute. Christianity also played an important role in the KDH message. It praised Andrej Hlinka, the Christian autonomist politician from the interwar era. However, while preferring a similar cultural background and Christian values, KDH also stressed the need for equality, freedom and autonomy of all citizens. So, one can conclude that the examined manifesto did not try to impose Christian values on society as a whole but rather emphasized their importance and relevance even in the modern era.

Election manifesto 2010

The  European  Union  was  considered  to  be  of  great  importance  for  Slovakia.  However, while acknowledging  this,  KDH also stressed that while seen as the only option the Union should be still approached cautiously and the state should have control over its future perspectives. In this respect KDH supported the principle of subsidiary and unanimity in key issues such as foreign policy of the Union. In its 2010 manifesto KDH emphasized that Slovak society should be built on the principles of tolerance, equality and respect to the individual. This was emphasized in particular when addressing the issue of the exclusion of the Slovak Roma population. The manifesto called for such measures that would prevent discrimination of the Roma but at the same time stimulate their self-responsibility. Integration of the Roma population into the society was seen as a very important goal. The cultural tolerance of KDH, however, had its limits. The party approached people of completely different cultures with  suspicion, especially those which were not built upon Christian traditions. Accordingly, KDH supported strict asylum policies and they rejected full membership of the European Union for Turkey.

Election manifesto 2012

The election manifesto consists of two contradicting parts: in the first one, the manifesto pushes culture, and in the second part it emphasizes support of European integration and belonging to the “EU club”; as well as the support of national minorities and their inclusion. Culture and national heritage plays crucial role in the manifesto. Even if the party shows its openness in terms of European integration, still, the national history is perceived as a source of national legitimization. However, this claim does not exclude national minorities. Roma culture and identity should be strengthened as well. The Christianity plays significant role in the manifesto, namely in case of Cyril and Method heritage. The missionaries, according to the manifesto, shape the groundings of Slovak historical heritage. In this context, the traditional role of Christian family should be secured by constitutional law. The European policy tries to find a definition for national interest in times of globalization; it should respect national sovereignty and identity according to the necessary adaptation in globalization. Slovakia profits from membership of the EU and Eurozone as well. On the other side, the EU should respect the individual national constitutional traditions. Stressing above described national identity, the EU should be developed as a cultural and identity based entity. Human rights should be necessary part of foreign policy; namely towards Belorussia. With regard to the previous election manifesto, the moderate Russia policy is not surprising. Due to the fact of manifesto stress in quite contracting issues, it is difficult to categorize it properly. On one hand, the manifesto declares its openness and EU support, on the other hand it stresses the role of identity and national culture significantly. Considering other manifestos in the 2013 elections, KDH belongs to the cultural nationalist type, even if the manifesto is less nationalistic that e.g. Smer in 2006 and 2010 elections.