Alliance of Free Democrats

Last updated

Alliance of Free Democrats – the Hungarian Liberal Party
Szabad Demokraták Szövetsége – a Magyar Liberális Párt
First leader János Kis
Last leader Viktor Szabadai
Founded13 November 1988
Dissolved30 October 2013
Headquarters1143 Budapest, XIV. Gizella utca 36.
Ideology Liberalism [1] [2] [3] [4]
Political position Centre
European affiliation Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe [2]
International affiliation Liberal International [2]
European Parliament group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (2004–2009)
Colours  Blue
Most MPs
94 / 386
(1990)
Website
www.szdsz.hu (in Hungarian; as of October 2012, home page offered link to English module)

The Alliance of Free Democrats – Hungarian Liberal Party (Hungarian : Szabad Demokraták Szövetsége – a Magyar Liberális Párt, SZDSZ) was a liberal [1] [2] [3] [4] political party in Hungary.

Contents

The SZDSZ was a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party [2] and of Liberal International. [2] It drew its support predominantly from Budapest among the middle classes, liberal intellectuals and entrepreneurs, with an ideological basis in social [1] and economic liberalism. [5] SZDSZ provided the first freely elected President for the Third Hungarian Republic, Árpád Göncz. The SZDSZ High Mayor of Budapest, Gábor Demszky was in office continuously since 1990 till 2010, when he was replaced by István Tarlós (who by himself was a member of SZDSZ in the 1990s).

History

The party's origins lay in the illegal democratic opposition under the communist rule of János Kádár. This gave rise to the loosely organized Network of Free Initiatives (Szabad Kezdeményezések Hálózata) on 1 May 1988 and to the foundation of the SZDSZ as an opposition political party on 13 November 1988. Its founding leaders included János Kis, Márton Tardos, Gáspár Miklós Tamás, and Miklós Haraszti. [6]

The party initially suggested a radical agenda for changing the political, social and economic system in the country. It suffered a close defeat at the first free general elections of the Third Republic in 1990, thus becoming the leading opposition force in the first free National Assembly (Hungary's parliament).

After the fall of the conservative Hungarian Democratic Forum-led government at the following 1994 parliamentary election, SZDSZ surprised many by entering into a coalition with the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), the legal successor party to the communist Hungarian Socialist Workers Party. Thus began a strategic alliance between the two parties that lasted for 14 years, ending only in 2008. The coalition successfully defeated Orbán's Fidesz in 1994, 2002 and 2006.

The heyday of the SZDSZ may be thought to have ended when it suffered heavy losses in the 1998 parliamentary election. In 2002 parliamentary election, it gained only 5.5 percent of the vote, returning 20 deputies to the National Assembly.

Until its withdrawal from the coalition in May 2008, the SZDSZ had three portfolios. It also had a delegation in the European Parliament, receiving 7.7 percent of the Hungarian vote and two members in the 2004 European Parliament election.

In the 2006 parliamentary election, it gained no directly elected seats, but 6.5 percent of the list votes, thus securing 20 members in Hungary's 386-seat National Assembly. This was the first time that the party managed to increase its support compared with a previous general election. The MSZP–SZDSZ coalition had a small majority in the new National Assembly intake.

On 31 March 2008, various reform-related disagreements between the MSZP and SZDSZ led the SZDSZ leader János Kóka to announce that his party would exit the coalition by 1 May 2008. [7] This also meant that the MSZP would have to form the first minority government in Hungary since the change of regime in 1989.

However, the legitimacy of Kóka's position as party president became questioned when it was discovered that some signatures of the delegates to the assembly electing him had been forged. Since he had won his position by a very small margin over Fodor, these votes might have changed the outcome. So a new leadership election was held in June [8] and Fodor was returned.

In the 2009 European Parliament election, SZDSZ retained none of its seats with just 2.2 percent of the total vote, less than half of the minimum five percent needed to secure representation. The party did not even receive five percent in Budapest, its traditional stronghold. Party president Fodor offered his resignation as soon as the official tally was announced at 10:00 p.m.

In the 2010 parliamentary election, SZDSZ won only 0.25 percent of the vote and was shut out of the legislature altogether for the first time since the change of regime. The party was even unable to gain parliamentary seats in Budapest. The Alliance of Free Democrats officially ceased to exist in October 2013. [9] [10]

Election results

National Assembly

ElectionVotesSeatsRankGovernmentPrime Minister
candidate
# %±pp #+/−
1990 1,050,45221.4%
94 / 386
±02ndin opposition János Kis
1994 1,066,07419.7%Decrease2.svg1.7
70 / 386
Decrease2.svg 242ndMSZP-SZDSZ Supermajority Iván Pető
1998 353,1867.88%Decrease2.svg11.82
24 / 386
Decrease2.svg 464thin opposition Gábor Kuncze
2002 313,0845.57%Decrease2.svg2.31
20 / 386
Decrease2.svg 43rdMSZP-SZDSZ MajorityGábor Kuncze
2006 351,6126.5%Increase2.svg0.93
20 / 386
Steady2.svg 03rdMSZP-SZDSZ Majority (until 2008)Gábor Kuncze
2010 112,6520.25%Decrease2.svg6.25
0 / 386
Decrease2.svg 208thextra-parliamentary

1 10 joint candidates with the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF).

European Parliament

Election year# of overall votes % of overall vote# of overall seats won+/-Notes
2004 237,9087.77% (3rd)
2 / 24
2009 62,5272.16% (6th)
0 / 22
Decrease2.svg 2

Party leaders

See also

Related Research Articles

Péter Medgyessy Hungarian politician

Péter Medgyessy is a Hungarian politician and was the Prime Minister of the Republic of Hungary from 27 May 2002 until 29 September 2004. On 25 August 2004 he resigned over disputes with coalition partner Alliance of Free Democrats, but remained caretaker Prime Minister for a 30-day period as required by the Constitution, and a few additional days until his successor Ferenc Gyurcsány was confirmed by Parliament.

Hungarian Socialist Party Hungarian political party

The Hungarian Socialist Party, commonly known by its acronym MSZP, is a centre-left social-democratic and pro-european political party in Hungary.

National Assembly (Hungary) Parliament of Hungary

The National Assembly is the parliament of Hungary. The unicameral body consists of 199 members elected to 4-year terms. Election of members is done using parallel voting; involving single-member districts and one list election; parties must win at least 5% of the popular vote in order to enter the list of members of the assembly. The Assembly includes 25 standing committees to debate and report on introduced bills and to supervise the activities of the ministers. The Constitutional Court of Hungary has the right to challenge legislation on the grounds of constitutionality. The assembly has met in the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest since 1902.

Democratic Coalition (Hungary) Hungarian political party

The Democratic Coalition is a social-liberal political party in Hungary led by former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. Founded in 2010 as a faction within the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), the Democratic Coalition split from the MSZP on 22 October 2011 and became a separate party. It has nine MPs in the National Assembly and four MEPs in the European Parliament.

Gábor Kuncze Hungarian politician

Gábor Kuncze is a Hungarian liberal politician, former chairman of the Hungarian Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ). He became anchorman at the radio channel Klubrádió in 2008 while he was still an SZDSZ member of Parliament. Later, in 2010, he also became a host for the television channel ATV. Kuncze was later dismissed from ATV's morning program, which was taken over by Egon Rónai.

Christian Democratic Peoples Party (Hungary) Hungarian political party

The Christian Democratic People's Party is a Christian rightist political party in Hungary. It is officially a coalition partner of the ruling party, Fidesz, but is in reality a satellite party of Fidesz and has been unable to get into the Parliament on its own since 1998. For several elections prior to the pact, they had been unable to pass the election threshold of 5% of the vote. Without Fidesz, its support cannot be measured, and even a leading Fidesz politician, János Lázár, stated that Fidesz does not consider the government to be a coalition government.

Katalin Szili Hungarian politician

Katalin Szili is a Hungarian politician and jurist, a former member of the Hungarian Parliament, who served as the Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary from 2002 to 2009.

1990 Hungarian parliamentary election

The 1990 Hungarian parliamentary elections were held in Hungary on 25 March 1990, with a second round of voting taking place in all but five single member constituencies on 8 April. They were the first completely free and competitive elections to be held in the country since 1945, and only the second completely free elections with universal suffrage in the country's history. The conservative, nationalist Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) beat the liberal and more internationalist Alliance of Free Democrats, which had spearheaded opposition to Communist rule in 1989, to become the largest party in parliament. The Hungarian Socialist Party, the former Communist party, suffered a crushing defeat, winning only 33 seats for fourth place.

Hungary has recognized registered partnerships since 1 July 2009, offering same-sex couples nearly all the rights and benefits of marriage. Unregistered cohabitation for same-sex couples was recognised and placed on equal footing with the unregistered cohabitation of different-sex couples in 1996. However, same-sex marriage is prohibited by the 2011 Constitution of Hungary, which took effect in January 2012.

LMP – Hungarys Green Party Hungarian political party

LMP – Hungary's Green Party is a green-liberal political party in Hungary. Founded in 2009, it was one of four parties to win seats in the National Assembly in the 2010 parliamentary election. The party is a member of the European Green Party.

Gábor Fodor (politician) Hungarian jurist and politician

Gábor Fodor is a Hungarian jurist and liberal politician. He is a former president of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) in 2008–09. Fodor resigned after the results of the 2009 European Parliament election. He was elected in an internal SZDSZ election to the post of party leader in June 2008 with 346 votes to 344. This was an unscheduled election prompted by problems around the verification of the result of the previous vote.

Imre Mécs Hungarian politician

Imre Mécs is a Hungarian politician. Following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, he was sentenced to death, then his sentence was mitigated to a prison sentence. He was released in 1963 and worked as an electrical engineer. Later he became founding member of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ). He was elected on the SZDSZ party ticket to the Hungarian Parliament in 1990 and served several consecutive terms. Over differences with his party, he quit SZDSZ and was elected on the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) ticket in 2006. He did not manage to win a seat in the 2010 elections, ending his parliamentary career. In the January 2011 he rejoined his old party, SZDSZ.

Hungarian local elections, 2006 took place on 1 October 2006 amidst a period of protests and demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. In many cities, demonstrators urged people not to vote for the MSZP candidate at the elections, and Fidesz made heavy use of the fact that Gyurcsány had admitted lying in its campaign leaflets and phone calls.

János Kóka

János Kóka is a Hungarian businessman, private investor, IT entrepreneur and manager of various enterprises, who served as Minister of Economy and Transport between 2004 and 2007. He was a member of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) and functioned as its chairman from 2007 to 2008. He also served as leader of the liberal party's parliamentary group until 2010, when SZDSZ failed to win any seats after 20 years. Kóka left the party that year. In 2010 he returned to business life and presently works as Chairman and CEO of Cellum Global Zrt. and Chairman of the Board of Cellum Bulgaria. He is married to Edit Varga.

2014 European Parliament election in Hungary

The European Parliament election, 2014 for the election of the delegation from Hungary to the European Parliament was held on 25 May 2014.

Hungarian Liberal Party Hungarian political party

Hungarian Liberal Party is a liberal political party in Hungary that was formed on 27 April 2013 and is led by Anett Bősz.

Mátyás Eörsi Hungarian politician

Mátyás Eörsi is a Hungarian politician who was the leader of the liberal Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (ALDE-PACE) Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). He became a member of the PACE in 1994. On 6 March 2009 the Hungarian government nominated Eörsi to Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

The Republican Party was a conservative liberal centre party in Hungary.

2010 Budapest mayoral election

The 2010 Budapest mayoral election was held on 3 October 2010 to elect the Mayor of Budapest (főpolgármester). On the same day, local elections were held throughout Hungary, including the districts of Budapest. The election was run using a First-past-the-post voting system. The winner of this election served for 4 years.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Hloušek, Vít; Kopeček, Lubomír (2010), Origin, Ideology and Transformation of Political Parties: East-Central and Western Europe Compared, Ashgate, p. 115
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Nordsieck, Wolfram (2010). "Hungary". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  3. 1 2 José Magone (2010). Contemporary European Politics: A Comparative Introduction. Routledge. p. 456. ISBN   978-0-203-84639-1.
  4. 1 2 Paul G. Lewis (2000). Political Parties in Post-Communist Eastern Europe. Routledge. p. 51. ISBN   978-0-415-20182-7.
  5. Szarvas, Lászlo (1995), "Parties and Party Factions in the Hungarian Parliament", Hungary, Frank Cass & Co., p. 121
  6. Bohlen, Celestine (25 March 1990). "UPHEAVAL IN THE EAST; A Democratically Evolving Hungary Heads into Unknown at Polls Today". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 September 2008.
  7. Szakacs, Gergely; Chance, David (31 March 2008). "Hungary's governing coalition to break up". Reuters. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  8. "SZDSZ-tisztújító június 7-én". Népszabadság Online (in Hungarian). 11 April 2008. Archived from the original on 15 April 2008.
  9. Megszűnhet az SZDSZ, Origo, 2013. július 25.
  10. Johnné Rósenblüth Erzsébet lemondott, ősszel megszűnhet az SZDSZ, ATV, 2013. július 25.
  11. [ clarification needed ]Staff (16 July 2010). "Újra van elnöke az SZDSZ-nek – Szabadai Viktor az új ügyvezető elnök". Népszava (in Hungarian). Retrieved 5 October 2012.