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Union of Democratic Forces (Bulgaria)

Union of Democratic Forces
Leader Bozhidar Lukarski
Founded 7 December 1989
Headquarters 134 Rakovska Str.,
Sofia 1000
Membership 11,000 (2009)[1]
Ideology Conservatism[2]
Christian democracy[2]
National conservatism[3]
Political position Centre-right[6][7]
International affiliation Christian Democrat International,
International Democrat Union
European affiliation European People's Party
European Parliament group European People's Party
Colours Blue
National Assembly
4 / 240
European Parliament:
0 / 17
Politics of Bulgaria
Political parties

The Union of Democratic Forces (European People's Party (EPP).


  • History 1
  • United Democratic Forces 2
  • The Blue Coalition 3
  • The Reformist Bloc 4
  • List of chairmen 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Dissident groups formed under the faltering regime of Zhelyu Zhelev, who would later become Bulgaria's President, was elected chairman, and Petar Beron, a well-known environmental scientist, was chosen as secretary.

The SDS was officially founded on 7 December 1989 as a union of eleven political organizations, such as Ekoglasnost, Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers' Party (United) and Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union "Nikola Petkov". The following year, six more parties were incorporated (Radical Democratic Party, Green Party of Bulgaria, Democratic Party, New Social Democratic Party, United Democratic Centre, Democratic Front).[8]

The SDS lost the 1990 elections to the SDS-Center and SDS-Liberals. Later the remnants of the SDS formed their own cabinet with Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov in November 1991, though the cabinet lasted only a little over a year when the government failed a motion of confidence in September 1992. The socialists, together with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, formed a coalition government headed by Prof. Lyuben Berov. Following the resignation of Berov's cabinet in October 1994, the BSP went on to win the 1994 elections.

However, following discontent over economic problems, Prime Minister Zhan Videnov resigned at the end of 1996, clearing the way for new elections, this time won by the SDS with a crushing 55% vote. Party leader Ivan Kostov went on to form the new government and successfully passed several economic reforms. He was eventually rewarded in December 1999 with an invitation to begin membership talks with the European Union. But public discontent over the social cost of the reforms, including increased unemployment, as well as allegations of corruption led to the SDS's defeat in the June 2001 elections, which were won by the National Movement for Simeon II. The United Democratic Forces won 18.2% of the popular vote and 51 out of 240 seats.

The SDS was chaired until the May 20, 2007 European elections by Petar Stoyanov, former president of the country. Meanwhile, Kostov, the former Prime Minister and SDS party leader went on to form his own party - Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria. At the 2005 parliamentary election, the United Democratic Forces won 8.4% of the popular vote and 20 out of 240 seats.

It was announced at the inaugural conference of the Movement for European Reform (MER, March 2007) that the SDS would become official partners alongside the British Conservative Party and the Czech Civic Democratic Party.[9] In mid April 2007, the SDS backtracked on its decision, stating that it remains loyal to the EPP and that it will never leave the EPP section of the EPP-ED Group to join another Group.

In the May 20, 2007 European elections the SDS failed to elect even a single MEP, resulting in the resignation of Stoyanov who led the list.

At the start of 2009 the SDS entered in an electoral alliance named the "Blue Coalition" with four other center-right parties: the DSB, the United Agrarians, the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party and the Radical Democratic Party. The alliance fielded candidates for the June 2009 European election winning a seat. When the Lisbon Treaty came into force in December of that year, their representation doubled. Now both the SDS and the DSB had an MEP.

The Blue coalition placed fifth in the legislative election a month later with a combined 6.8% of the vote and 15 seats.

In the May 2013 elections, the SDS lost all of its seats in the Bulgarian National Assembly.

United Democratic Forces

For the 1997 parliamentary elections, an alliance named United Democratic Forces was formed around SDS. The same name was later used for other elections and parliamentary groups.

The Blue Coalition

In early 2009 an alliance was formed together with Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria for the European Parliament elections and National Assembly elections. The coalition was named the Blue Coalition and included some other parties.

The Reformist Bloc

The coalition agreement to form the alliance of the Reformist Bloc was signed on 20 December 2013. The five parties that signed the agreement were: Union of Democratic Forces, Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria, Bulgaria for Citizens Movement, People's Party Freedom and Dignity, and the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union.[10]

List of chairmen

Chairmen of the Coordination Council

Chairmen and Chairwomen of the unified party

See also

Conservatism portal


  1. ^ "Bulgaria Rightists UDF Reelect Leader Martin Dimitrov". Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram, "Bulgaria", Parties and Elections In Europe, retrieved 7 November 2012 
  3. ^ Bakke, Elisabeth (2010), "Central and East European party systems since 1989", Central and Southeast European Politics Since 1989 (Cambridge University Press): 79, retrieved 17 November 2011 
  4. ^ Hanley, Seán (2006), "Getting the Right Right: Redefining the Centre-Right in Post-Communist Europe", Centre-Right Parties in Post-Communist East-Central Europe (Routledge): 18 
  5. ^ Metodiev, Momchil (2009), "Bulgaria", Transitional Justice in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union: Reckoning with the communist past (Routledge): 161 
  6. ^ Bugajski, Janusz (2007), The Eastern Dimension of America's New European Allies, Strategic Studies Institute, p. 147 
  7. ^ Szczerbiak, Aleks; Hanley, Seán (2006), "Understanding the Politics of the Right in Contemporary East-Central Europe", Centre-Right Parties in Post-Communist East-Central Europe (Routledge): 7 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Bulgarian Rightists Seal Reformist Bloc Coalition". Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Bulgarian Subject Files - Political Parties: Union of Democratic Forces Open Society Archives, Budapest
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