Hungary/Government

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The President of the Republic, elected by the National Assembly every 5 years, has a largely ceremonial role but powers also include appointing the prime minister. The prime minister selects cabinet ministers and has the exclusive right to dismiss them. Each cabinet nominee appears before one or more parliamentary committees in consultative open hearings and must be formally approved by the president. The unicameral, 386-member National Assembly 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. National parliamentary elections are held every 4 years (the last in May 1998). A 15-member Constitutional Court has power to challenge legislation on grounds of unconstitutionality.

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Hungary
conventional short form: Hungary
local long form: Magyar Koztarsasag
local short form: Magyarorszag

Data code: HU

Government type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Budapest

Administrative divisions: 19 counties (megyek, singular - megye), 20 urban counties* (singular - megyei varos), and 1 capital city** (fovaros); Bacs-Kiskun, Baranya, Bekes, Bekescsaba*, Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen, Budapest**, Csongrad, Debrecen*, Dunaujvaros*, Eger*, Fejer, Gyor*, Gyor-Moson-Sopron, Hajdu-Bihar, Heves, Hodmezovasarhely*, Jasz-Nagykun-Szolnok, Kaposvar*, Kecskemet*, Komarom-Esztergom, Miskolc*, Nagykanizsa*, Nograd, Nyiregyhaza*, Pecs*, Pest, Somogy, Sopron*, Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg, Szeged*, Szekesfehervar*, Szolnok*, Szombathely*, Tatabanya*, Tolna, Vas, Veszprem, Veszprem*, Zala, Zalaegerszeg*

Independence: 1001 (unification by King Stephen I)

National holiday: Saint Stephen's Day, 20 August (commemorates the coronation of King Stephen I in 1000 AD)

Constitution: 18 August 1949, effective 20 August 1949, revised 19 April 1972; 18 October 1989 revision ensured legal rights for individuals and constitutional checks on the authority of the prime minister and also established the principle of parliamentary oversight; 1997 amendment streamlined the judicial system

Legal system: rule of law based on Western model

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Arpad Goncz (since 3 August 1990; previously interim president since 2 May 1990)
head of government: Prime Minister Viktor Orban (since 6 July 1998)
cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president
elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 19 June 1995 (next to be held before August 2000); prime minister elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president
election results: Arpad GONCZ reelected president; a total of 335 votes were cast by the National Assembly, Arpad Goncz received 259; Viktor Orban elected prime minister; percent of legislative vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Orszaggyules (386 seats; members are elected by popular vote under a system of proportional and direct representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 10 and 24 May 1998 (next to be held May/June 2002)
election results: percent of vote by party (5% or more of the vote required for parliamentary representation in the first round) - MSZP 32.0%, FIDESZ 28.2%, FKGP 13.8%, SZDSZ 7.9%, MIEP 5.5%, MMP 4.1%, MDF 2.8%, KDNP 2.3%, MDNP 1.5%; seats by party - MSZP 134, FIDESZ 148, FKGP 48, SZDSZ 24, MDF 17, MIEP 14, independent 1; note - the MDF won 17 single-member district seats; seating as of 1999 by party - MSZP 135, FIDESZ 146, FKGP 48, SZDSZ 24, MDF 17, MIEP 12, independents 3, and 1 empty seat to be filled in a byelection

Judicial branch: Constitutional Court, judges are elected by the National Assembly for nine-year terms

Political parties and leaders: Alliance of Free Democrats or SZDSZ [Balint Magyar, chairman]; Christian Democratic People's Party or KDNP [Gyorgy Giczy, president]; Hungarian Civic Party or FIDESZ [Laszlo Kover, chairman]; Hungarian Democratic Forum or MDF [Ibolya David, chairman]; Hungarian Democratic People's Party or MDNP [Erzsebet Pusztai, chairman]; Hungarian Justice and Life Party or MIEP [Istvan Csurka, chairman]; Hungarian Socialist Party or MSZP [Laszlo Kovacs, chairman]; Hungarian Workers' Party or MMP [Gyula Thurmer, chairman]; Independent Smallholders or FKGP [Jozsef Torgyan, president]

International organization participation: ABEDA, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNOMIG, UNU, UPU, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Geza Jeszenszky
chancery: 3910 Shoemaker Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 362-6730
FAX: [1] (202) 966-8135
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Peter F. Tufo
embassy: V. 1054 Szabadsag Ter 12, Budapest
mailing address: pouch: American Embassy Budapest, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5270
telephone: [36] (1) 475-4400, 475-4703 (after hours)
FAX: [36] (1) 475-4764

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and green