Dzurinda entered politics as a founding member of the ChDM (1990) and served as spokesman for the party's Transportation Club. An expert on economics, he soon became chairman of the ChDM's Economics Club.
From 1991–1992, Dzurinda also served as a deputy to the Slovak minister of transportation and communications. He was elected to Parliament in 1992 and became the minister of transportation, telecommunications, and public works in the government of Joszef Moravcik, a post he held until 1994. In 1993, when Slovakia became independent, he was promoted to vice chairman for economy. After the 1994 elections, Dzurinda returned to the parliamentary opposition, often criticizing the economic policies of the ruling coalition. Dzurinda represented the views of the younger, more pragmatic, and more moderate wing of the party on issues such as the relations between church and state, Slovakia's foreign policy towards the Vatican, and abortion. Dzurinda's moderation and popularity with young voters were the main reasons why the ChDM nominated him to represent his party in the SDC after its formation in October 1997. He began as spokesman for the five-party coalition and rose to be its chairman in June 1998.
In the September 1998 elections, the SDC gained 26.33% of the vote and was able to form a coalition government to oust Mecair's government. Dzurinda was sworn in as the new prime minister on 30 October 1998. He was sworn in again after the 2002 elections, on 16 October 2002, presently leading a three-party coalition.