Christian Democratic People's Party (Hungary)


Christian Democratic People's Party (Hungary)
Christian Democratic People's Party
Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt
Leader Zsolt Semjén
Founded 1943, 1989 (refoundation)
Headquarters 1072 Budapest, István utca Dózsa György út sarok
Ideology Christian democracy,
National conservatism,
Social conservatism
Religion Roman Catholicism
International affiliation None
European affiliation European People's Party
European Parliament Group European People's Party
Official colours Green, Gold
National Assembly:
36 / 386
European Parliament:
1 / 22
Website
http://kdnp.hu/
Politics of Hungary
Political parties
Elections
Hungary

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The Christian Democratic People's Party (Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt, KDNP) is a political party in Hungary.

Contents

History

The party was founded in 1944 by Hungarian Catholic statesmen, intellectuals, and ecclesiastical such as Bishop Vilmos Apor, Béla Kovrig (president of the University of Kolozsvár), László Varga and General József Pálffy, among others. The party was the offshoot of a civil organization, the Catholic Social Folk Movement (KSzN). The new KDNP was not conferred legal status until the end of World War II,and even then, only briefly. Some of its founders (like László Varga) were imprisoned for some days by detachments of the Arrow Cross Party (but the communist-dominated after-war authorities also refused to legalize it for months). On 13 October 1944 the founders, with the participation of lay Christian persons (ethnographer Sándor Bálint, political newspaper writer István Barankovics), founded the party under the name of KDNP. At the beginning of 1945 they elected István Barankovics as principal secretary. But World War II, and four or five months of semi-legality, ended soon, and the new post-war authorities did not permit the party to operate further. Despite Varga's and Barankovics's attempts, they did not manage to get an official admittance for working and take part in elections. Meanwhile, there were growing opposition between two parts (Barankovics said to concede too much for the communists-influenced authorities without effect): the carnal (left-), Christian socialist wing (led by Barankovics) and the conservative-clerical (right-) wing (led by József Mindszenty's confidant, József Pálffy). The left wing got an increasing ascendancy in the party; on 8 May 1945 Barankovics became president instead of the former (Pálffy); and the party changed its name to DNP (Democratic People's Party). The Pálffy-group founded a new party called KDNP, but it did not manage to remain legal in an atmosphere of increasing Soviet influence.

DNP was a democratic and anti-communist organisation. Conferring with Barankovics, Mátyás Rákosi in 1949 amidst threats wanted the leaders to help him in the show trial against Mindszenty (the cardinal was in prison yet), but Barankovics refused it and dismissing his party, escaped to Austria (in an American diplomat's car). So many people of him followed his example, others were imprisoned by communists. That is why Barankovics had to cease functioning in 1949 due to Communist rule.

Re-foundation and present

It was re-founded in 1989 with its present name. The link between the historical party and the present one is somewhat disputed, although early prominents, like László Varga, took part in its re-activation.

It was part of the Parliament between 1990 and 1998. From 1998 on, it has been closely associated with Fidesz. In 2005 Fidesz and KDNP signed an election co-operation as a result of which KDNP made it to the Parliament.

At the 2006 elections this alliance gained strength, winning 42.0% of the list votes and 164 representatives out of 386 in the Parliament. The party decided to form a self-contained parliamentary faction with 23 representatives. It is the third biggest faction in the Hungarian Parliament. The faction is in close cooperation with the Fidesz faction.

As of 2007, its leader is Zsolt Semjén.

Parliamentary representation

Year Vote percentage Seats Popular votes Status
1945 - - - -
1947 16.5% 60 824,259 opposition
1990 6.46% 21 317,183 government
1994 7.03% 22 379,573 opposition
1998 2.59% 0 116,065 extra-parliamentary
2002 3.90% 0 219,029 extra-parliamentary
2006 42.03% 164 (23) 2,272,979 opposition
2010 52,73% 263 (36) 2,703,857 government

Note: In the 2002 election the party ran together with the Centre Party, in 2006 and 2010 the party ran on the lists of Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union. The number of seats won by the KDNP is shown in parentheses for that years.

See also

External links


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