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Hungary

Yearbook 2006

Hungary. In the April parliamentary elections, socialist leader Ferenc Gyurcsány's coalition succeeded in regaining confidence. It was the first time a government has been re-elected since the current democracy was born in 1990. The coalition won 210 of Parliament's 386 seats. The largest opposition party Fidesz took 164 seats.

2006 Hungary

During the summer, feelings between Hungary and neighboring Slovakia swelled, after some ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia had been attacked. Prime Minister Gyurcsány condemned the abuses and accused Slovakia of increasing xenophobia.

According to CountryAAH, Prime Minister Gyurcsány ended up in a violent political storm in September, when mass media revealed a tape recording of speeches ahead of a closed party meeting. There, the Socialist leader acknowledged that the party had lied to voters to win the election in April. In the electoral movement, they had, among other things, promised tax cuts, but after the election, increases in both taxes and gas prices and various fees were proposed. Gyurcsany's statement aroused anger. Protest demonstrations against the government's proposed austerity degenerate into violent riots and clashes with riot police in Budapest. Many people were injured. The protesters demanded Gyurcsany's resignation, but the prime minister declared that he intended to continue in office and threatened with harsh measures if the violence continued. Gyurcsány eventually apologized for the rough language he used in the recorded speech, but he did not apologize for deliberately bringing the voters behind the light. He also provided more measures to reduce the large budget deficit.

President László Sólyom in October criticized Gyurcsány, who he believed had used unacceptable means to retain power. At the same time, Gyurcsany's Socialist Party suffered heavy losses in the country's regional elections. The opposition went ahead and opposition leader Viktor Orban felt that voters had shown that they wanted Gyurcsány removed. This one remained docked. Then the president declared that the coalition should appoint a new leader. But Gyurcsány requested a vote of confidence in Parliament and won it by 207 votes to 165.

In October, the fiftieth anniversary of the Budapest uprising was brutally crushed by the Soviet military with tens of thousands of casualties and hundreds of thousands of people on the run. The memorial ceremonies were bordered by hostile demonstrations, which were met by tear gas and rubber bullets from the police. The political opposition boycotted Prime Minister Gyurcsány's appearance and declared that the whole country was against his "illegal government". The European Commission called on the Hungarian government to explain police brutality reports in the autumn demonstrations.

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