HISTORY AND POLITICAL OBJECTIVESThe Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) is a democratic political organisation which today associates the membership and the legal inheritance of the former Social-Democratic Union of Slovenia and the Slovenian Democratic Union - two powerful parties of the former DEMOS coalition which, after the defeat of the communist regime in the 1990 elections, carried out the democratisation of Slovenia and led the quest for the gaining of Slovenian independence and international recognition of Slovenia. The Slovenian Democratic Union was founded in January, and the Social-Democratic Union in February 1989. Both parties (unions) promoted from their very beginning a democratic political order, a market economy, personal freedom of the individual, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for minority rights and the inclusion of Slovenia in the Euro - Atlantic integrations. Both parties have, in their programs, clearly opposed any totalitarianism, whether communist or fascist.
The period between 1988 and 1992, when fundamentals were being established for a democratic and independent Slovenia, which is open towards Europe, was labelled by the public as the "Slovenian Spring". The Slovenian Spring was actually a political movement whose political expression was DEMOS and which created the realistic power needed for democratisation, modernisation and independence of Slovenia. The Social - Democratic Union of Slovenia and the Slovenian Democratic Union were important creations and composite parts of this movement and the SDS is their common heir.
The origins of the SDS lie primarily in perpetual popular consensus on the core values, which also represent the symbolic origin of our society. The values arising therefrom, whose origins lie in the Christian ethics, European humanist philosophy and the Enlightenment, and the tradition of modern democratic, workers' and social democratic movements, emerged in Slovenia in the late 19th century.
The political and social movement was only revived with the democratisation of the Slovenian society, the struggle for human, political and social rights during the Slovenian Spring, the publication of the 57th issue of Nova Revija, the writers' constitution, the "Trial of the Four", and the loss of power of the Communist regime in the late 1980s. Modern Slovenian social democracy is also a successor of Janez Evangelist Krek's Christian social movement, which was based on the ideals of class and social solidarity.
The central political goal of the SDS is to create a new quality of life: to endeavour to have more democracy, peace, respect of human rights and mutual respect, economic efficiency, freedom, social justice and solidarity and to create such conditions where the nation's potentials are realised entirely, where every one has the opportunity to give one's contribution according to one's abilities and readiness, and where training is based on education and learning about basic values such as love and understanding of others, critical thinking, the sense of justice and personal responsibility. The SDS views political power as a means, for the common benefit, to create the basis for broader and greater participation in decision-making by various groups and individuals, also those whose voice was not heard in the past.
PARTY STRUCTUREThe Slovenian Democratic Party is organised into 210 municipal committees, which are associated in 14 regions. The highest body of the party is the Congress, which elects the President, the Executive Committee and the Supervisory Commission. The highest body between two congresses is the SDS Council, consisting of presidents of municipal committees, members of the Executive Committee, the Secretary General, presidents of the interest groups and forums, presidents of the Region Co-ordinations, SDS councillors, ministers and members of the parliament and members of the SDM (Slovenian Democratic Youth) executive body. The Executive Committee is the executive political body of the party.
At the 9th SDS Congress on 9 May 2009, Janez Janša was elected as party President. Members of the Executive Committee are:
France Cukjati is the chairman of the SDS Council.
Jože Tanko is the leader of the SDS Parliamentary Group.
Based on their position, the president of the Slovenian Democratic Youth, president of the Women Committee, president of the Club of Seniors and the leader of the SDS parliamentary group are also members of the Executive Committee.
Party members are organised within the party in the form of interest associations:
Slovenian Democratic Youth: Andrej Čuš, President
Women Committee: Alenka Jeraj, President
Club of Seniors: Mitja Ljubeljšek, President
Slovenian Democratic Forums associate both members and non-members of the party:
Agricultural and Rural Development Forum
The party has over 29,000 members (not including members of forums).
RESULTS OF ELECTIONS:Elections for the RS Assembly in 1990: 8%
Elections for RS Parliament in 1992: 4%
Elections for the Parliament in 1996: 16%
Elections for the Parliament in October 2000: 16%
Elections for the Parliament in October 2004: 29%
Elections for the Parliament in September 2008: 29%
Elections for the European Parliament 2004: 18%
Elections for the European Parliament 2009: 27%
Elections for municipal and community councils in 1994: 14%
Elections for municipal and community councils in 1998: 16%
Elections for municipal and community councils in 2002: 13%
Elections for municipal and community councils in 2006: 17%
Elections for municipal and community councils in 2010: 19%
In the 2004 general elections, the SDS won 29 parliamentary seats (out of 90) in the Parliament of the Republic of Slovenia and formed the government with New Slovenia - Christian People's Party , Slovenian People’s Party (both EPP) and the Democratic Pensioner's Party.
Since November 2008 the SDS has represented the main oppositional political force in Slovenia.
The SDS is a full member in the European People's Party (EPP), which unites the centre - right political parties of Europe.
The SDS is a full member of the Union of the Robert Schumann Institute for Developing Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.
The SDS is a full member of the Centre Democrat International (CDI).
The SDS is a full member of International Democrat Union (IDU).