7
Hungary

FerdinandMüller-RommelandGabriellaIlonszki


Cabinet setting

Hungarian developments since 1989

The new Republic of Hungary was proclaimed on 23 October 1989, 33 years after Soviet troops intervened in Hungary and installed a Soviet-supported government. Compared to most other countries in Central-Eastern Europe, Hungary had long and stronger economic and political ties with several Western European countries, above all Austria. The economic and the political reform process started early as a result.

In 1989, several new political parties were founded and old parties reconstituted. Among them, the most prominent were the centre-right Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF), the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz), set up by dissident intellectuals from several unofficial opposition groups, and the Independent Smallholders' Party (FKgP), which had been a dominant party in Hungary's first postwar election of 1947. In addition, the Social Democratic Party (MSzDP), which had merged with the Hungarian Communist Party in 1945 to form the Hungarian Workers' Party, was reconstituted.

As a result of by-elections in July 1989, a member of the opposition party (MDF), who had defeated the candidate of the leading Communist Party (HSWP), entered parliament for the first time since 1947. In three other by-elections MDF candidates had been more successful than HSWP candidates. Faced with these new challenges, the HSWP dissolved the party and created a new Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP), committed to multiparty democracy and to an efficient market economy.

In October 1989, the national parliament approved an amended Constitution defining Hungary as an independent democratic state based on the rule of law. All powers were to belong to the people, which they would exercise through their elected representatives. The Constitutional Court was also established. The Presidential Council was abolished and was replaced by a president; the speaker of parliament, Matyas Szürös, was appointed as interim president.

-84-

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Cabinets in Eastern Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Tables viii
  • Notes on Contributors ix
  • Preface x
  • Cabinets in Post-Communist East-Central Europe and in the Balkans: Introduction 1
  • Notes 14
  • Part 1 - East-Central Europe 15
  • 1 - Estonia 17
  • 2 - Latvia 29
  • 3 - Lithuania 40
  • 4 - Poland 50
  • 5 - Czech Republic 62
  • 6 - Slovakia 73
  • 7 - Hungary 84
  • 8 - Slovenia 95
  • Part 2 - The Balkans 107
  • 9 - Romania 109
  • 10 - Moldova 120
  • 11 - Bulgaria 131
  • 12 - Albania 142
  • 13 - Macedonia 152
  • 14 - Croatia 162
  • 15 - Bosnia-Hercegovina 173
  • 16 - Serbia and the New Yugoslavia 184
  • 17 - Cabinets in Post-Communist East-Central Europe and the Balkans: Empirical Findings and Research Agenda 193
  • Appendices 202
  • Bibliography 226
  • Index 241
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