Home News What next after Gyurcsany, asks Hungarian press

What next after Gyurcsany, asks Hungarian press

Published on 24/03/2009

Budapest — Hungary’s political future remained uncertain Monday following the premier’s announced resignation, with a vote to endorse it unlikely for weeks and no obvious successor.

Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany said Saturday he would quit government, frustrated by opponents he said labelled him the "single obstacle" to tackling the country’s economic woes.

He said he would inform parliament of his decision on Monday and would ask for a vote of no-confidence against himself. He was expected to address parliament later in the day.

But parliament president Katalin Szili said a proposal for such a vote could not take place until April 6 — after the Socialists’ party congress — with the vote itself unlikely until April 14, at the earliest.

A simple majority among the 386 deputies would be required for the motion to pass.

"No more stalemate, but what next?" the left-leaning Nepszava daily asked.

For its part, the centre-left newspaper Nepszabadsag sought to put a positive spin on events, even though opinion polls show waning support for Gyurcsany’s Socialist party.

"An opportunity! The Socialists seek a new prime minister," its headline ran.

But the right-leaning Magyar Nemzet paper which is close to the opposition Fidesz party, criticised Gyurcsany for not simply resigning, thus allowing for early elections — as Fidesz, which is leading in the polls, had requested.

"The prime minister’s decision respected the constitution, but not its spirit," the paper wrote.

The prime minister had been unable in recent weeks to obtain a majority in parliament for the adoption of his drastic economic reforms, aimed at bringing the country, one of the worst hit in eastern Europe, out of the financial crisis.

"The situation is simple: the liberals and conservative want far-reaching reforms, and without them the Socialists can’t get through parliament the measures needed to counter the crisis while keeping an eye on social factors," Nepszabadsag wrote.

Gyurcsany also said Saturday that a new premier should be found through consensus talks with other parties.