Parliamentary Chamber: Orszaggyules


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  25 March 1990
8 April 1990

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the members of Parliament following premature dissolution of this body on 16 March 1990. General elections had previously taken place in June 1985.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The 1990 general elections were the first to be held under the 1989 amended Constitution and Electoral Law. Although Parliament’s term was only due to expire on 8 June 1990, the Deputies decided, on 21 December 1989, to dissolve the National Assembly on 16 March 1990 and to schedule polling in the framework of a multiparty system shortly thereafter.

Of the more than 50 political parties and associations established prior to the polling, 12 contested the National Assembly seats at the national level. Prominent among these were the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF), the Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz), the Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKgP) and the Hungarian Socialist (formerly Communist) Party (MSZP). Forum candidates based their campaigns largely on appeals to Hungarian nationalism. On economic issues, the MDF favored cautious privatization of state property while the liberal SzDSz advocated a more radical restructuring. Similarly, on foreign policy, the MDF supported a gradual Hungarian move to non-alignment while the Alliance called for immediate close relations with the West. Altogether 1,623 candidates (including 199 independents) ran for the 176 seats of single-member constituencies in the first ballot, and 496 in the second.

The first round of polling on 25 March concluded with only five definite results in the 176 local constituencies. Six parties participated in the run-off elections of 8 April, SzDSz being allied with the League of Young Democrates (FIDESZ) and the centre-right MDF, agrarian FKgP and Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) having formed an electoral pact. Of these, MDF, led by Mr. Jozsef Antall, emerged as the largest single party, capturing 164 seats. Several parties did not cross the 4% threshold required for parliamentary representation. Only 21 incumbent Deputies retained their seats.

On 16 May, Mr. Antall became Prime Minister as head of a coalition Government with the MDF’s conservative allies: FKgP and KDNP.

Round no 1 (25 March 1990): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 7,824,110
Voters 5,093,119 (65.09%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 109,730
Valid votes 4,958,580
Round no 2 (8 April 1990): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 7,824,110
Voters 3,453,798 (44.14%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 47,054
Valid votes 3,409,640

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) 1,214,359 24.73
Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz) 1,050,799 21.39
Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKgP) 576,315 11.73
Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) 535,064 10.89
League of Young Democrats (FIDESZ) 439,649 8.95
Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) 317,278 6.46
Independents n.a. n.a.
Others n.a. n.a.

Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Single-member constituency Seats
Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) 165 114
Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz) 92 35
Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKgP) 43 11
Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) 33 1
League of Young Democrats (FIDESZ) 21 1
Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) 21 3
Independents 6 6
Others 5 5

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 358
Women: 28

Distribution of seats according to age:  
Under 30 years 22
30-60 years 321
Over 60 years 43

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Teachers 100
Lawyers 77
Economists 49
Doctors, pharmacists, veterinarians 48
Engineers 40
Sociologists 15
Theologians, priests 13
Agronomists 9
Others (all high-school graduates) 35

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Copyright 1990 Inter-Parliamentary Union