Democratic Party of Slovakia and Green Party in Slovakia formed coalition before the general elections of 1998 however due to new amendment to the electoral law they would need get 25 % of the votes to enter the National Council. That was the reason why they take part in the establishment of the new party SDK. SDK competed in elections instead of the five parties and all membership of the new party comprised of the leaders and politicians of the five coalition parties. SDK succeeded and after the elections led as a senior partner wide so – called anti – Mečiar coalition. During the 1999 and 2000 leadership of the SDK namely Mikuláš Dzurinda and Ivan Šimko originally from KDH pushed for further integration of the right – wing parties in SDK. Internal struggle in the main government party SDK did not led to serious weakening of the coalition and it survived full term till the elections of 2002. In these elections SDKÚ proved to be successful project when it gained more than fifteen percent and overall second place. SDKÚ joined coalition with other center – right parties and Dzurinda formed his second government. During the 2003 conflict in SDKÚ arose in connection with the so – called “small group” affair.
In the 2006 general elections SDKÚ managed to get 18,35 % of the votes but this result was not enough to prevent formation of the first government of Róbert Fico from Smer – SD in which SDKÚ was not represented. In the same year smaller DS merged with SDKÚ changing its name to SDKÚ – DS. Between the years 2006 and 2010 SDKÚ – DS confronted several smaller internal strives most notable ended with the dissolution of the whole Bratislava regional organization of the party. Alongside this development party also witnessed rise in popularity of the former Minister of Social Affairs Iveta Radičová who jointed SDKÚ –DS in 2006. In 2009 Radičová run for the presidency with the support of most of the right – wing parties. Subsequently she became electoral leader of the SDKÚ –DS in the upcoming general elections of 2010 in which SDKÚ-DS proved to be the strongest right – wing party with 15,42 % of the votes. After the lections Radičová became the first female prime minister of Slovakia leading the center – right coalition of SDKÚ – DS, SaS, KDH and Most – Híd.
|Votes||18.35 %||16.99 %||15.42 %||6.09 %||7.75 %|
Election manifesto 2006
In general terms manifesto emphasized respect for human rights and it valued tolerance and individualism. These principles mirrored itself in the call for equality of all citizens and in condemnation of the social exclusion and segregation of the Roma population. Manifesto highly valued civil society based upon the individualistic and active citizens. According to SDKÚ Slovak foreign policy should be concerned with the human rights in the developing world and should not neglect them. Like in 2006 manifesto from 2010 remained its liberal approach towards society. SDKÚ – DS stressed importance of equality, individualism and development of civil society. Also it remained strong supporter of the European integration and Slovakia’s reliable involvement in the activities of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. However unlike the liberally – skeptic parties right – wing liberal parties tend to be opened towards foreign influences. This feature is most prominent in the way these parties and their respective manifestos deal with the issue of the European integration. In contrast to the group of liberally – skeptical documents they tend to be more open – minded and one would say almost uncritical towards the European Union and its further integration. This goes with one important exception in the manifestos of the SDKÚ – DS which strongly oppose harmonization of the taxes in the Union.
Election manifesto 2010
In 2010 SDKÚ-DS presented a manifesto which addressed the issue of national culture in greater length than was done in 2006. Slovak cultural heritage should not just be supported but it was connected with national pride and, moreover, with patriotism. Similarly the manifesto praised the protection of the Slovak environment. However this greater emphasis on the cultivation of Slovak culture and environment was still described in the wider terms of Slovakia as a community of all its citizens. It is also important to mention that not only was more space dedicated to cultural policies and protection, it was similarly given to policies related to minorities and the relation between the majority population and minorities. The manifesto of 2010 addressed Roma issues and called for pragmatic and responsible solutions in contrast with more populist calls. There is no simple way in which to deal with the complex problem of the social exclusion of the Roma, but it should be achieved through education and motivation. SDKÚ-DS stressed the importance of equality, individualism and the development of civil society. It also remained a strong supporter of European integration and Slovakia’s reliable involvement in NATO activities.
Election manifesto 2012
Although the party was immersed into deep internal crisis during the election campaign, the election manifesto identities the national identity issues in very similar way as manifesto did in the 2010. The manifesto stresses individual responsibility in terms of open and modern society. However, one has to consider the country specific context; the role of family and Christianity is significant in this manifesto as well. The liberal emphasis on freedom of all individuals in the manifesto complementary requests observance of rules.Still, the manifesto stresses European integration support; however, the manifesto rejects harmonisation in tax and social policy. The EU support is connected to the individual responsibility, for instance in perceiving Slovakia as a strong country defending its national interests. The manifesto tries to find a modus operandi between defending of national interests and the liberal commitment e.g. constituting open country. Party in foreign policy field supports the EU enlargement as well as value based on foreign policy as such. Slovakia should be able to effectively cooperate with its neighbours, especially on V4 platform. Although the manifesto stresses individual responsibility, solidarity with excluded citizens is mentioned as well.