Hungary - Government

Hungary's present constitution remains based upon the 1949 Soviet-style constitution, with major revisions made in 1972 and 1988. The 1988 revisions mandated the end of the Communist Party's monopoly on power, removed the word People's from the name of the state, and created the post of president to replace the earlier Presidential Council.

The present system is a unitary multi-party republic, with a parliamentary government. There is one legislative house (the National Assembly), with 386 members who are elected to four-year terms. The head of state is the president, who is elected by the parliament, for a five-year term. In 2003, the president was Ferenc Madl, a former law professor, who replaced Arpad Goncz in 2000.

The head of the government is the prime minister, leader of the largest party seated in the Parliament. In the Antall government important ministerial and other posts were split among representatives of various parties. As of 2003, the prime minister was Péter Medgyessy, leader of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP), elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president in May 2002.

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