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Yearbook 1998

Hungary. According to Countryaah, the campaign for the third democratic parliamentary elections was characterized by the topics of corruption and crime. Admittedly, the number of murders and robberies in Hungary is below the European average, but when it comes to spectacular crimes such as car bombs and open-air gunfire, the country is above average. In the last elections in 1994, the reformed Communists, the Socialist Party, MSzP (Magyar Szocialista Párt), withdrew power from a conservative coalition. The big question was whether the 1998 elections would lead to a change of power.

1998 Hungary

The first round of elections did not give a clear result: the ruling MSzP led the vote count by 32% against the largest opposition party, the Liberal Youth Democrats, Fidesz (Magyar Polgári Párt) with 28%. The complicated selection system is a mixture of personal choices and proportional choices. Before the second round, intensive negotiations began with parties and candidates for the best possible results. For MSzP's coalition partner, the Peace Democrats, SzDSz (Szabad Demokraták Szövetsége), the situation was dramatic as voters betrayed the party. The second round of elections showed that there was no further term of office for Prime Minister Gyula Horn. The winner of the election instead became the challenger, Viktor Orban from Fidesz. Horn was part of Communist Hungary's power apparatus, while the young lawyer Orban (born 1963) already in the late 1980s became a spokesman for the entire nation when he demanded the departure of the Soviet troops.

As Europe's youngest prime minister, Orban formed a center-right coalition consisting of Fidesz, the Independent Smallholder Party, FKgP (Független Kisgazda-Földmunkás-és Polgári Párt) and the Hungarian Democratic Forum, MDF (Magyar Demokrata Fórum). Orban took over a country with high growth, falling unemployment and rising real wages. The major problems in the economy are inflation and that such a large part of the population lives below the minimum. At the municipal elections in October, the new government parties received failed support. The turnout was about 48% of the electorate.

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