The Czechoslovak People's Party goes back to the days of the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 as a conservative, largely Catholic party. The party survived the communist regime, but only nominally, as part of the so-called "National Front". It began to function again as a fully independent party after the Velvet Revolution. In 1992 it changed its name to the Christian Democratic Union - Czechoslovak People's Party, partly as a way of distancing itself from the communist past. The party served as a junior partner in the two governments led by Vaclav Klaus, between July1992 and January 1998, and the party also took part in the interim government between January and August 1998. Since then it has been in opposition and since 1999 it has been in a close pact with the Freedom Union (see above). In English the party's name is often abbreviated to "The Christian Democrats".
Cyril Svoboda (former Interior Minister, Jan.-July 1998)
Zuzana Roithova (former Health Minister)
Tomas Kvapil (former Regional Development Minister)
Miloslav Vyborny (former Defence Minister)
20 seats (out of 200), 9% of the total vote (fourth place).
The KDU-CSL is a traditional, conservative, Roman Catholic-based party. It defines itself as right of centre, but in many respects it is closer to the Social Democrats than the other right-wing parties. Like the Freedom Union - Democratic Union, the party is pro-European Union and is strongly in favour of direct presidential elections. On some social issues, such as the question of legalising homosexual partnerships, it is conservative, consistent with its Catholic tradition. The KDU-CSL and the Freedom Union-Democratic Union have put forward a common right-of-centre pre-election manifesto with a strong focus on the battle against corruption and on the rule of law.
The party appeals particularly to Catholic voters and to conservative voters in small towns and rural areas. It enjoys strong and stable support in rural parts of Moravia (the eastern part of the Czech Republic).