SDP to Change Its Name?

Total Croatia News

According to some, current name is too reminiscent of Communist times.

Has the word “party” in the name of Croatia’s main opposition Social Democratic Party (Socijaldemokratska Partija, SDP) become too heavy a burden and should it be changed? According to some from within SDP, that might be necessary for SDP to distance itself from the heritage of its predecessors, the Communist Party of Croatia and the League of Communists of Croatia, reports Večernji List on October 30, 2016.

In Croatian language, “party” can be translated as either “partija” or “stranka”. Both words have the same meaning, but “partija” has been irrevocably connected with the former Communist Party (Komunistička Partija), which ruled Croatia under different names from 1945 to 1990. That is the reason why the majority of parties have “stranka” in their names.

It seems now that “partija” has become a problem for some in SDP, so much that after a new party president is elected next month, it is quite possible that the party will start a debate on whether it should change its name. Some say that the word “partija” brings to SDP bad and possibly harmful political connotations. Of course, there are those who disagree with that opinion and say that the “party” should not try to get rid of its historical heritage.

Register of Political Parties in Croatia shows that there have been 312 political parties registered since 1990, but just nine of them had in their names the word “partija”. Four have disappeared in the meantime, while five of them are still active. Among those parties which do not exist anymore are: Socialist Party of Croatia – Party of Yugoslav Orientation (established in 1990 in Petrinja), Party of Democratic Prosperity – Branch for Croatia (founded in 1990 in Zagreb), Social Democratic Party of Croatia – Party of Democratic Change (which has been renamed to today’s SDP) and Party of Danube Serbs (founded in 1998 in Vukovar).

And today, in addition to the most well-known Social Democratic Party (SDP), still active parties are: Socialist Workers’ Party of Croatia (founded in 1998 in Zagreb), Socialist Party of Croatia (founded in 2004 in Zagreb), Democratic Party of Serbs (founded in 2009 in Zagreb), and Communist Party of Croatia (founded three years ago in Umag). Expect SDP, all these are minor parties which are not even close to getting into Parliament.

Through its history, today’s SDP has changed its name many times. It was founded in 1937 under the name Komunistička Partija Hrvatske (Communist Party of Croatia), which was later changed to Savez Komunista Hrvatske (League of Communists of Croatia). With the democratic changes in late 1980s and early 1990s, party in quick succession changed its name several times: Savez Komunista Hrvatske – Stranka Demokratskih Promjena (League of Communists Croatia – Party of Democratic Change), Stranka Demokratskih Promjena Hrvatske (Party of Democratic Change of Croatia), Socijaldemokratska Partija Hrvatske – Stranka Demokratskih Promjena (Social Democratic Party of Croatia – Party of Democratic Change), and finally Socijdemokratska Partija Hrvatske (Social Democratic Party of Croatia).


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