Social Democrats (Slovenia)

Social Democrats (Slovenia)

Infobox State of former Yugoslavia Political Party
party_name = Socialni demokrati
english_name = Social Democrats
country = Slovenia
bgcolor = black
party_wikicolourid = Republican
leader = Borut Pahor
foundation = 1993
ideology = Social Democracy,
Third Way
headquarters = Ljubljana
colours = Red
website_address =
website_title = SD Website
european = Party of European Socialists
europarl = PES
The Social Democrats (SD - _sl. Socialni demokrati) is a centre-left political party in Slovenia, currently led by Borut Pahor. Until 2005, it was called United List of Social Democrats (ZLSD - _sl. "Združena lista socialnih demokratov").



The origins of the current party date from the end of 1989, when the League of Communists of Slovenia decided to renounce the absolute monopoly over political, social and economic life in the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, and agreed to introduce a system of political pluralism. In January 1990, the Slovenian Communists left the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and renamed themselves to Party of Democratic Renewal (SDP - _sl. "Stranka demokratične prenove"). Former prominent Communist politician Ciril Ribičič was elected as the party's new president. The party lost against the DEMOS coalition at the first democratic elections in Slovenia in April 1990, gaining 17,3% of the popular vote. They nevertheless became the single largest party in Slovenia.

Between 1990 and 1992, the party remained in opposition against the centre-right coalition government of Lojze Peterle. After the fall of Peterle's cabinet in 1992, the party entered the first coalition government of Janez Drnovšek, formed by the left wing of the dissolved DEMOS coalition (the Social Democratic Party of Slovenia and the Greens of Slovenia). The same year, the party was renamed to Social Democratic Renewal ( _sl. "Socialdemokratska prenova"), maintaining the same acronym, SDP.

Constitution of the United List

Prior to the 1992 general election intensive discussions were held and agreements reached between left-oriented political parties and groups on an electoral coalition. Thus just prior the general election of 1992, an agreement was reached between the Social Democratic Renewal (SDP) and three smaller extra-parliamentary left-wing parties (the Social Democratic Union, the Workers' Party of Slovenia and the Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia) to form an electoral coalition under the name United List. The newly formed coalition gained 13,6% of the popular vote, thus becoming the third political force in the country, after the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia and the Slovene Christian Democrats. These three largest parties decided to form a government coalition, which soon became popularly known as the "grand coalition" ( _sl. "velika koalicija"), under the leadership of the prime minister Janez Drnovšek. Until March 1994 the Social Democratic Party of Slovenia also participated in this government coalition.

In May 1993 a congress was held in Ljubljana at which the constitutive members of the United List decided to form a unified party. The new party was named United List of Social Democrats and Janez Kocijančič was elected as its president. The party remained in government until January 1996, when it left the ruling coalition in disagreement over the government's welfare policies. Furthermore, several prominent members left the party and re-established Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia. In the general elections of 1996, the United List of Social Democrats suffered a substantial loss support, gaining only around 9% of the popular vote.

The "Pahor Era"

In the period between 1996 and 2000, the party remained in opposition. On the third National Congress of the United List of Social Democrats in 1997 a new party president, Borut Pahor, was elected. A gradual evolution towards more moderate positions started. In the election of 2000, the party rose to 12% of the vote and entered the left-wing coalition government led by Janez Drnovšek, while the party's president Borut Pahor was elected chairman of the Slovenian National Assembly. In the general elections of 2004, the party gained around 10,2% of the vote and went into opposition against the centre-right government dominated by the Slovenian Democratic Party.

In the fifth Congress held in 2005 in Ljubljana, the decision to shorten the party name to Social Democrats was took. On Borut Pahor was confirmed as the party president, strengthening his positions against internal opposition from the left wing of the party. [cite web |title=SURVEY OF THE ORIGIN OF THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS OF SLOVENIA |url= |accessdate=2007-06-09] . In the programmatic congress held in Nova Gorica in July 2006, the party clearly distanciated itself against its Communist past, while its president publicly condemned the Communist dictatorship in Slovenia and Yugoslavia established after World War II. []

Going to the top

After the internal crisis in the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia following the loss of election in 2004, which resulted in the split of the party, the Social Democrats emerged as the main left-wing opposition force against the centre-right government led by Janez Janša. In 2007, several prominent members of the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia, including former prime minister Anton Rop, left their party and joined the Social Democrats. Following these developments, the Social Democrats became the second largest parliamentary party in Slovenia, after the Slovenian Democratic Party.

In September 2008, Social Democrats won the parliamentary election with 30,45%. Ruling Slovenian Democratic Party finished second with 29,26%. Borut Pahor is considered to form a new government.

Parliamentary representation

ImageSize = width:350 height:200PlotArea = width:250 height:150 left:50 bottom:20AlignBars = justify

DateFormat = yyyyPeriod = from:0 till:30TimeAxis = orientation:verticalScaleMajor = unit:year increment:2 start:0

PlotData= bar:Seats color:coral width:30 mark:(line,white) align:left fontsize:S bar:1990 color: magenta from:start till:14 text:14 bar:1992 from:start till:14 text:14 bar:1996 from:start till:9 text:9 bar:2000 from:start till:11 text:11 bar:2004 from:start till:10 text:10 bar:2008 from:start till:29 text:29

International affiliations

In September 1996, at XX. Congress of the Socialist International in New York, United List became full member party of Socialist International as the only social-democrat party from Slovenia. Social Democrats are also active in the Party of European Socialists. Since May 16, 2003 the SD is also their full member party.

Party leadership

Leaders of the SD

* Ciril Ribičič, 1990-1993
* Peter Bekeš, 1993
* Janez Kocijančič, 1993-1997
* Borut Pahor, 1997 - present

Deputy Leaders

* Borut Pahor, 1993 - 1997
* Aurelio Juri, 1997 - 2001
* Breda Pečan and Miloš Pavlica, 2001 - 2005
* Andreja Rihter and Igor Lukšič, 2005 - present

Other prominent members

*Patrick Vlačič
*Igor Lukšič
*Miran Potrč
*Aurelio Juri
*Franci Križanič

See also

*Politics of Slovenia
*Milan Kučan
*Novi Plamen

External links

* [ Official web site]


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