Hungary is an independent democratic constitutional state, a parliamentary republic. The Constitution adopted in 1949, as amended in 1989 and 1997, is in force. Check computerminus for political system of Hungary.
Administrative division – 19 regions (county) and the capital, which has a special status. Large cities: Budapest, Debrecen (211 thousand people), Miskolc (184 thousand people), Szeged (168 thousand people), Pecs (162 thousand people), Gyor (129 thousand people).
The highest body of legislative power is the State Assembly. Elected every 4 years, it is a unicameral parliament, which includes 386 deputies. Hungary has a complex proportional-majoritarian electoral system: 176 deputies are elected from single-member constituencies, 152 deputies from territorial lists, and 58 deputies receive a mandate in accordance with the share of votes cast on party lists.
The State Assembly elects the country’s president, prime minister, members of the Constitutional Court, ombudsmen (i.e. three commissioners: for political rights, ethnic minority rights and personal data protection), the chairman of the Supreme Court and the prosecutor general.
The State Assembly sits constantly, its regular sessions are held from February 1 to June 15 and from September 1 to December 15. Chairman of the State Assembly – Katalin Seeley.
The supreme body of executive power is the government, headed by the prime minister, who, according to the Constitution, is the chief official in the country. The prime minister is a representative of the winning party, who, simultaneously with the adoption of the government’s program on the proposal of the president, is elected by the parliament. The Prime Minister submits proposals on the composition of the Government to the President for approval. Since June 2002, the Prime Minister has been Peter Medgyessy (a non-partisan nominee from the Hungarian Socialist Party).
The head of state is the president with rather limited constitutional powers. Elected by Parliament for a five-year term (but not more than twice). The current president of Hungary is Ferenc Madl (elected in 2000). In addition to him, there were four more presidents in the history of Hungary: Mihaly Karoyi (January-March 1919), Zoltan Tildi (1946-48), Arpad Sakashich (1948-49), Arpad Gönc (1990-2000).
The basis of local authorities is formed by equal city and rural self-governments (mayors and municipal assemblies are elected for 4 years by direct vote) with considerable powers. The regional link has no executive bodies. The next municipal elections were held in October 2002.
The highest judicial bodies are the Supreme Court (its competence includes civil and criminal cases) and the Constitutional Court (supervision over the observance of the Constitution, examination of normative acts for compliance with the Constitution and decision-making in case of disputes between individual state authorities).
There are 150 registered political parties in Hungary. In the last elections of 2002, 16 parties came out with all-Hungarian lists, 4 of them overcame the 5% barrier of parliamentary representation.
The Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP) was formed in 1989 with the dissolution of the then ruling Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (HSWP). Focuses on social democratic values. In the 2002 elections, she received 178 mandates. As the party that won the election, it formed a coalition (together with the SDS) government, in which it has 11 posts, including the post of prime minister. Chairman – Laszlo Kovacs.
The Hungarian Civic Party (Fidesz) was founded in 1988 by a group of young dissidents. It is a right-wing liberal party. He has 164 seats in the State Assembly. Main opposition party. The leader of the party, who officially does not hold any post, is Viktor Orban.
The Hungarian Democratic Forum (VDF) took shape as a party in 1988 from the movement of the opposition intelligentsia. Adheres to the national-conservative orientation. He has 24 seats in parliament. Together with Fidesz, he forms the opposition. The party chairman is Iboya David.
The Union of Free Democrats (SSD) was formed in 1988 on the basis of a dissident movement. He has 20 seats in the State Assembly. Together with the VSP forms the ruling coalition. In the government, he holds 4 ministerial posts out of 15. The chairman of the party is Gabor Kunze.
Of the parties not represented in parliament, the most significant are: the Independent Party of Smallholders (NPMH; recreated in 1988 as the legal successor of the historical NPMH. Party of a national conservative persuasion), the Party of Hungarian Truth and Life (formed in 1993 after the extreme nationalists left the WDF), the Hungarian Workers’ Party (a communist “splinter” of the HSWP), as well as the national-radical Christian Democratic People’s Party and the moderately conservative Hungarian Democratic People’s Party.
The political system in Hungary is quite stable, the peaceful mechanism for the change of power has been worked out, the branches of power are balanced, and the opposition is generally behaving in a constructive and civilized manner.
Trade unions in Hungary unite approx. 3 million people, incl. up to 50% of the employed population, 30% of all pensioners and 10-15% of the unemployed.
The largest trade union associations: the Federation of Hungarian Trade Unions (covers 1.3 million people), the Forum for Trade Union Cooperation (unites 800 thousand employees employed in the public sector), the Union of Autonomous Trade Unions (has about 300 thousand members, mostly workers), the League trade unions (represents the interests of 60 thousand representatives of the intelligentsia, united in 122 trade unions).
The interests of business circles are represented by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) and the Hungarian Agrarian Chamber (similar organizations operate at the capital level). In addition, there are many associations of national producers, functioning, as a rule, on an industry basis: for example, the All-Hungarian Union of Construction Organizations, the Hungarian Cement Association, the Union of Hungarian Exporters, the Federation of Electricity Companies, the Union of Hungarian Realtors, etc. Representative offices of foreign chambers of commerce (USA, Great Britain, Canada) and joint chambers of commerce (Germany, France, Israel, Romania, Venezuela, Sweden, Switzerland) have been opened to serve entrepreneurs from foreign countries.
Since 1990, a tripartite Conciliation Council has been established in Hungary – a permanent forum for social partnership between the government, employers and workers.
Public order is guarded by the police (about 40 thousand people). The All-Hungarian High Command of the Police is an independent state body functioning within the framework of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It consists of the central office and 19 regional departments (the metropolitan police is headed by a separate main department of dual subordination).
The regular Hungarian army (approximately 45 thousand people) is completed with personnel and conscripts, called up on the basis of compulsory military service for a period of 6 months. The share of conscript soldiers in 1994-2002 decreased from 52.8 to 30%. The army has two branches of the Armed Forces: the Ground Forces and the Air Force (including air defense). The equipment is in service with Russian (Soviet) production (artillery guns of various calibers, T-55 and T-72 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, MiG fighters, Mi helicopters of various modifications), but the purchase of Western weapons or the modernization of the Russian technology to NATO standards. An American military base is located in Tasar.
Hungarian military personnel in 1988-2002 were members of 16 peacekeeping contingents under the auspices of the UN, the OSCE and other international organizations.
In wartime, the Armed Forces include border troops, police, prison guards and customs guards.
The basic direction of foreign policy is integration into Euro-Atlantic structures (NATO, EU, Council of Europe, etc.), maintaining good neighborly relations with neighboring countries and protecting the rights of Hungarian minorities abroad.
The country takes part in regional cooperation structures: the Visegrad Agreement, the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), the Central European Initiative (CEI), the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe (SEEC), the Danube Commission (its headquarters is located in Budapest).
Hungary has diplomatic relations with more than 150 states, incl. with the Russian Federation. In 1991, the Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation between the Russian Federation and Hungary was signed (ratified by the Russian parliament in 1995). Diplomatic relations between Hungary and the USSR existed in 1934–41 and 1948–91.