25 Independents Elected to Hungary’s Parliament
An unprecedented number of candidates running against Communist-backed nominees won seats to Hungary’s Parliament in weekend balloting, according to results released Sunday.
They showed that 25 independents won seats in the 387-member Parliament in the most liberal elections in Hungary since Communists took control at the end of World War II.
Seventy-one independents were nominated and ran in Saturday’s election without the sponsorship of the Patriotic People’s Front, the Communist organization that dominates Hungarian politics.
Only one non-People’s Front candidate had previously been elected to Parliament since 1949, when Hungary held its first election under Communist rule.
Although multiple candidacies have been permitted since the 1970s, the elections were the first under a 1983 law making contested races mandatory for 352 of the 387 seats.
There was no choice for the remaining 35 seats that are reserved for “national personalities,” most of whom are government figures or senior members of the Communist Party.
All of the candidates had to sign a pledge, authored by the front, saying they would abide by the rules of a socialist society.
All of those running for the 352 unreserved seats had to be approved at nomination meetings, and the People’s Front had put forward two of its people for each seat to meet the requirement that there be more than one candidate.
But the people in 71 districts nominated other candidates, and in a few cases replaced a front candidate with one of their own.