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Budapest Parliament
Hungarian Politics
 

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

Executive branch

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.

Legislative branch

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.

 

   

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