Last updated

Leader Marian Jurečka
Deputy Leaders Šárka Jelínková
Jan Bartošek
Petr Hladík
Tomáš Zdechovský
Ondřej Benešík
Secretary General Pavel Hořava
Chamber of Deputies Leader Jan Bartošek
Senate Leader Petr Šilar
MEP Leader Tomáš Zdechovský
Founder Jan Šrámek
Founded3 January 1919
Merger of MSKSSM, KNKSM,
HeadquartersPalác Charitas, Karlovo náměstí 5, Prague
NewspaperNový Hlas
Think tank Institute for Christian Democratic Politics
Youth wing Young Populars
Women's wingWomen's Association
Membership21,870 [1]
Ideology Christian democracy [2] [3]
Social conservatism [4] [5]
Pro-Europeanism [6] [7]
Political position Centre [8] [9] to centre-right [10] [11]
National affiliation SPOLU
European affiliation European People's Party
International affiliation Centrist Democrat International
European Parliament group European People's Party
Colors  Yellow
Chamber of Deputies
23 / 200
12 / 81
European Parliament
2 / 21
Regional councils
53 / 675
Governors of the regions
1 / 13
Local councils
4,066 / 62,178
Party flag
Flag of KDU-CSL.svg

KDU-ČSL (In Czech, the initials of the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party; [12] Czech : Křesťanská a demokratická unie – Československá strana lidová), 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 legislative election, the party won 7.2% of the vote and 13 out of 200 seats; but in the 2010 election, its vote share dropped to 4.4% and they lost all of its seats. The party regained its parliamentary standing in the 2013 legislative election, winning 14 seats in the new parliament, [13] thereby becoming the first party ever to return to the Chamber of Deputies after previously dropping out.



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. [14] 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.

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).

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 needed to get more 10% of votes get over threshold. [15] The coalition disintegrated before the election, [16] thus the party went into the elections standalone, receiving 5.8% of votes.

In March 2019 the party was officially renamed to KDU-ČSL, its common abbreviation and Marek Výborný became a new party leader. [17] After the death of his wife announced Marek Výborný in November 2019 his resignation for personal reasons. [18]

Tomáš Zdechovský, Jan Bartošek and Marian Jurečka decided then to run for party leader.

Current situation

KDU–ČSL has a relatively small but stable core voter base of about 6 to 10 percent of the population. It is strongest in the traditionally Catholic rural areas in Moravia. Historically, it was a mass party with about 50,000 members (second after the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia), however today most of them are of old age. Efforts to recruit new voters have been largely unsuccessful, with party membership continuing to decline. Nevertheless, KDU–ČSL has managed to take advantage of the fragmented Czech political party system and make itself a necessary part of any coalition, whether the winning party be left- or right-wing.

Leader Marian Jurecka Praha, Vinohrady, Retailcon, Marian Jurecka.jpg
Leader Marian Jurečka

In the European Union, KDU–ČSL is a member of the European People's Party (EPP).

Internal Structure


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. [19]

95,43588,00060,00040,000 [20] 33,00029,97628,54127,662 [21] 26,420 [22] 21,870

Party strongholds

KDU-ČSL is known to have very strong electoral core concentrated primarily in South Moravia. The party has very stable electoral support thanks to it and has managed to gain seats in Chamber of Deputies everytime since 1990 with exception of 2010 [23]


Notable partners and suborganisations of the KDU-ČSL are:

Pavel Belobradek, leader of the party from 2010 to 2019 Belobradek (cropped).jpg
Pavel Bělobrádek, leader of the party from 2010 to 2019



Ex leader and mayor of Zlin region Jiri Cunek Jiri Cunek in 2019.jpg
Ex leader and mayor of Zlín region Jiří Čunek

The party's patron saint is Saint Wenceslaus, with Saint Wenceslas Chorale being played at party congresses. Members customarily address each other as brothers and sisters.

KDU-ČSL has had many symbols through history, with the current logo depicting a Christian cross on a linden leaf. [24]


Name of the party over time

Election results

Czechoslovakia wide elections

Legislative elections

# %#±Size
1920 Collective leadership699,72811.3
33 / 281
Increase2.svg 332ndOpposition
1925 Jan Šrámek 691,2389.7
31 / 300
Decrease2.svg 23rdCoalition
1929 Jan Šrámek 623,3408.4
25 / 300
Decrease2.svg 65thCoalition
1935 Jan Šrámek 615,8047.5
22 / 300
Decrease2.svg 36thCoalition
1946 Jan Šrámek 1,111,00915.7
46 / 300
Increase2.svg 243rdCoalition
1948 as part of National Front
23 / 300
Decrease2.svg 234thBloc
20 / 368
Decrease2.svg 33rdBloc
16 / 300
Decrease2.svg 44thBloc
20 / 300
Increase2.svg 44thBloc
8 / 200
Decrease2.svg 124thBloc
11 / 200
Increase2.svg 34thBloc
13 / 200
Increase2.svg 23rdBloc
11 / 200
Decrease2.svg 24thBloc
1990 Josef Bartončík 629,3595.9
9 / 150
Decrease2.svg 25thCoalition
1992 Josef Lux 388,1224.0
7 / 150
Decrease2.svg 27thCoalition

Devolved assembly elections

Czech assembly elections

# %#±Size
1968 as part of National Front
16 / 200
Increase2.svg 163rdBloc
15 / 200
Decrease2.svg 12ndBloc
12 / 200
Decrease2.svg 33rdBloc
14 / 200
Increase2.svg 22ndBloc
14 / 200
Steady2.svg 02ndBloc
1990 Josef Bartončík 607,1348.42
20 / 200
Increase2.svg 64thCoalition
1992 Josef Lux 406,3416.28
15 / 200
Decrease2.svg 55thCoalition

Slovak assembly elections

# %#±Size
1928 Martin Mičura 43,6893.31
2 / 54
Increase2.svg 28th
1935 Martin Mičura 3.0
1 / 54
Decrease2.svg 18th
Headquarters of KDU CSL, Charitas Palace in Prague Karlovo namesti, zastavka Moran, budova KDU-CSL.jpg
Headquarters of KDU ČSL, Charitas Palace in Prague

Czech Republic wide elections

Legislative elections

# %#±Size
1996 Josef Lux 489,3498.08
18 / 200
Increase2.svg 34thIncrease2.svg ODS–KDU-ČSL–ODA
1998 Josef Lux 537,0138.99
20 / 200
Increase2.svg 24thOpposition
2002 Cyril Svoboda 680,67014.27
22 / 200
Increase2.svg 114th ČSSD–KDU-ČSL–US-DEU
2006 Miroslav Kalousek 386,7067.23
13 / 200
Decrease2.svg 184thODS–KDU-ČSL–SZ
2010 Cyril Svoboda 229,7174.39
0 / 200
Decrease2.svg 136thDecrease2.svgNo seats
2013 Pavel Bělobrádek 336.9706.78
14 / 200
Increase2.svg 147thDecrease2.svgČSSD–ANO–KDU-ČSL
2017 Pavel Bělobrádek 293,6435.80
10 / 200
Decrease2.svg 47thOpposition
2021 Marian Jurečka 1,493,70127.79
23 / 200
Increase2.svg 132ndTBA
Part of SPOLU coalition, which won 71 seats in total


ElectionFirst roundSecond roundSeats gained
1996 **274,3169.94th247,81910.73rd
13 / 81
1998 ***255,78526.62nd166,48331.02nd
5 / 27
2000 121,35514.14th137,51524.42nd
8 / 27
2002 58,8588.84th47,0495.74th
1 / 27
2004 97,95613.53rd54,50111.43rd
3 / 27
2006 125,38811.84th59,60310.43rd
4 / 27
2008 82,8707.9-42,2255.13-
0 / 27
2010 87,1827.64th42,9906.324th
2 / 27
2012 61,0066.944th14,9952.924th
1 / 27
2014 84,3288.215th77,10316.272nd
4 / 27
2016 74,7098.485th78,44818.502nd
6 / 27
2018 99,3839.124th34,8338.335th
2 / 27
2020 82,8148.304th65,39714.473rd
3 / 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


Indirect ElectionCandidateFirst round resultSecond round resultThird round result
1993 Václav Havel 10963.37Won
1998 Václav Havel 13070.65Runner-up14652.3Won
2003 (Petr Pithart)

Jan Sokol

2008 Václav Klaus [25] 14150.90Runner-up14152.81Runner-up14155.95Won
Direct ElectionCandidateFirst round resultSecond round result
2013 Zuzana Roithová 255,0454.956thsupported Karel Schwarzenberg
2018 Jiří Drahoš 1,369,60126.60Runner-up2,701,20648.63Lost

European Parliament

ElectionVotesShare of votes in %Seats obtainedPlace
2 / 24
2 / 22
3 / 21
2 / 21

Local elections

YearVoteVote %Seats
1990 8,845,56211,58,083
1994 9,260,542 Increase2.svg7.23 Decrease2.svg7,616Decrease2.svg
1998 7,206,346Decrease2.svg11.18Increase2.svg7,119Decrease2.svg
2002 7,728,402Increase2.svg9.58Decrease2.svg6,013Decrease2.svg
2006 6,263,980Decrease2.svg5.76Decrease2.svg5,049Decrease2.svg
2010 4,938,960Decrease2.svg5.47Decrease2.svg3,738Decrease2.svg
2014 4,865,956Decrease2.svg4.91Decrease2.svg3,792Increase2.svg
2018 5,599,336Increase2.svg5.02Increase2.svg3,633Decrease2.svg

Regional elections

YearVoteVote %SeatsPlaces
2000 537,01222.86
72 / 675
2004 226,016Decrease2.svg10.67Decrease2.svg
84 / 675
2008 193,911Decrease2.svg6.65Decrease2.svg
56 / 675
2012 261,724Increase2.svg9.87Increase2.svg
61 / 675
2016 159,610Decrease2.svg6.30Decrease2.svg
61 / 675
2020 252,598Increase2.svg9.12Increase2.svg
53 / 675

2020 Czech regional election results [26]

RegionCoalition partner# of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
SeatsGovernance [27]
Central Bohemian STAN 92,90322.21
2 / 65
Increase2.svg 2Increase2.svg 5th STAN–ODS–PiratesTOP 09+Greens-Voice
South Bohemian TOP 09 20,79810.45
4 / 55
Steady2.svgDecrease2.svg 6thODSKDU-ČSL+TOP 09ČSSD–JIH12
Plzeň ADS and Non-Partisians7,5884.36N/ADecrease2.svg 2Decrease2.svg 11thODS+TOP 09STANPirates
Karlovy Vary ODS 5,8707.35
2 / 45
Increase2.svg 1Increase2.svg 8th STAN +TOP 09-Pirates-ODS+KDU ČSL-Local movements
Ústí nad Labem ODS 24,73912.37
1 / 55
Increase2.svg 1Increase2.svg 8th ANO–ODS–TOP 09+Greens
Liberec TOP 09 5,3283.83N/ASteady2.svgIncrease2.svg 7th Mayors for Liberec Region Pirates–ODS
Hradec Králové VPM and Non-Partisians14,7388.32
4 / 45
Steady2.svgDecrease2.svg 5thODS+STAN+VČ–KDU-ČSLPiratesTOP 09+HDK
Pardubice SNK-ED and Non-Partisians22,28013.41
4 / 45
Decrease2.svg 1Decrease2.svg 5th ČSSD–ODS+TOP 09KDU-ČSLSTAN
Vysočina N/A19,08211.96
6 / 45
Decrease2.svg 1Steady2.svg 3rdODS+STO–PiratesKDU-ČSLČSSDSTAN
South Moravian N/A56,42315.54
11 / 65
Steady2.svgSteady2.svg 2nd KDU-ČSLPirates–ODS–STAN
Olomouc TOP 09 and Greens 34,51918.43
6 / 55
Decrease2.svg 1Steady2.svg 4th STAN+PiratesKDU-ČSL+TOP 09–ODS
Zlín N/A35,78218.62
9 / 45
Decrease2.svg 3Decrease2.svg 2nd ANOPirates–ODS–ČSSD
Moravian-Silesian N/A30,1909.57
7 / 65
Decrease2.svg 1Steady2.svg 4th ANO–ODS+TOP 09KDU-ČSLČSSD

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