Constitution and political system
According to the constitution of 1949 was Hungary a
communist people's republic. Following a comprehensive
revision of the Constitution in 1989, most recently amended
in 1997, Hungary is now a parliamentary-democratic unitary
state. The head of state, the president, is elected by the
National Assembly for five years and can be re-elected once.
He is formally military commander, but otherwise has very
limited authority. The actual executive lies with a
parliamentary responsible prime minister and government. The
government, the Supreme Court Justice and the Attorney
General are elected by the National Assembly (Országgyülés).
It has 386 seats and is elected in the general election for
four years. The elections take place both as majority
elections in single-person circles (in two rounds if a
candidate does not get an absolute majority in the first
round) and as proportional elections (with the whole country
as constituency). The two leading parties.
Administratively, Hungary is divided into 19 counties
(megyech), in cities and smaller municipalities. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of HU and its meanings of Hungary. The capital
Budapest has a special status and is divided into districts.
There are elected bodies at county and local level and
limited local self-government. State representatives
supervise the local authorities.
After 1989, a constitutional court was introduced, with
the right to test the constitutional compatibility of laws,
and an ombudsman scheme was established. The Supreme General
Court is the Supreme Court, headed by a Justice elected by
the National Assembly. At the next level there are county
courts and a court in the capital. At the lowest level there
are local courts. Also the Attorney General, who among other
things has citizens' rights as the area of responsibility,
elected by the National Assembly.
Legislation for Hungarian minorities and Hungarians in
At the beginning of the new century, Hungary, under the
auspices of the EU, launched an action plan against the
country's 700,000 gypsies, to counteract discrimination in
employment and in society otherwise.
Furthermore, a "Law on Hungarians living in neighboring
countries" has been adopted, the so-called status law, which
includes the territories Hungary lost at the peace
settlement in Versailles in 1920, including Romania,
Slovakia, Ukraine and the former Yugoslavia. The law aims to
secure both financial support and assistance to preserve
Hungarian identity for almost five million people.
A proposal to also offer Hungarian citizenship was put to
the referendum, but this became invalid due to low turnout,
and the case was therefore put on ice. An extension of the
Status Act in 2003, with certain guarantees also in terms of
work, health care and education, was disputed both in the
National Assembly and in the neighboring countries, which
claim that the law violates their sovereignty. However, the
law amendment was promoted as part of the EU adaptation -
and recalls that not only the Communist era, but also the
First World War is the backdrop for the transition process
Hungary is still in.
The financial crisis in 2008–2009
In 2006, Hungary operated with a budget deficit that
exceeded 9 percent of the gross domestic product, three
times the EU requirement. With membership in the currency
union and euro cooperation for the eyes, taxes, fees and
deductibles were increased, while health care, students and
pensioners received noticeable cuts, with increasing social
unrest. However, the savings measures and reform packages
got a blow to the bow when the opposition parties in March
2008 conducted a referendum - with a clear majority against
the government's savings packages. In the growing political
turmoil, the Peace Democrats walked out of the coalition. A
weakened socialist party thus ruled alone in a weakened
government - as the international financial crisis hit and
sharply strengthened the underlying problems in the
country's economy. A EUR 20 billion rescue package from the
International Monetary Fund and the EU prevented technical
In the spring of 2009, Hungary emerged as the hardest hit
EU countries in Eastern Europe, with the currency in free
fall, queues of small savers outside the bank branches and a
queue also of investors and Western-owned companies on their
way out of the country, while unemployment was on the rise
10 percent. Ferenc Gyurcsány announced his departure as
prime minister and justified it with a general lack of
support. He was replaced by Finance Minister Gordon Bajnai.
Plural form of Fidesz
In 2010, the national conservative party Fidesz won the
government with an absolute majority in parliament, and
Viktor Orbán was elected prime minister. In 2012, János Áder
became president, also he from the same party.