Politics of Hungary takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby
the Prime Minister of Hungary is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive
power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The
party system is dominated by the socialist Hungarian Socialist Party and the conservative Hungarian Civic
Union or FIDESZ. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The Republic of Hungary is
an independent, democratic and constitutional state. Since the constitutional amendment of 23 October 1989,
Hungary is a parliamentary republic. Legislative power is exercised by the unicameral National Assembly that
consists of 386 members. Members of the National Assembly are elected for four years
The President of the Republic, elected by the National Assembly every five years, has a largely ceremonial role,
but he is nominally the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and his powers include the nomination of the
Prime Minister who is to be elected by a majority of the votes of the Members of Parliament, based on the
recommendation made by the President of the Republic.
Due to the Hungarian Constitution which has been based on the post-WWII Basic Law of the Federal Republic
of Germany, the Prime Minister has a leading role in the executive branch as he selects Cabinet ministers and
has the exclusive right to dismiss them (similarly to the competences of the German federal chancellor). Each
cabinet nominee appears before one or more parliamentary committees in consultative open hearings, survive a
vote by the Parliament and must be formally approved by the president.
The unicameral, 386-member National Assembly (Országgylés) is the highest organ of state authority and
initiates and approves legislation sponsored by the prime minister. A party must win at least 5% of the national
vote to form a parliamentary faction. The National Assembly (Országgylés) has 386 members, elected for a
four year term, 176 members in single-seat constituencies, 152 by proportional representation in multi-seat
constituencies and 58 members elected to realize proportional representation.
During the past 15 years, conservative and social-liberal governments have been alternating each other. The
last elections were held in 2002, and based on the results the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) and the
Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) formed a coalition government with a slight majority. The cabinet was
headed by Mr. Péter Medgyessy, who was replaced by Mr. Ferenc Gyurcsány in September 2004. There are
two opposition parties represented in the parliament: the conservative FIDESZ-Hungarian Civic Alliance
(FIDESZ-MPSZ) and the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF).
The last parliamentary elections took place in April this year when the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) and the
Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) formed a coalition government again.