Parliamentary Chamber: Orszaggyules


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  8 May 1994
29 May 1994

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members’ term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The dates of the 1994 general elections – the second of the post-communist era – were announced on 4 February by President of the Republic Arpad Goncz. Due to the intervening Pentecost weekend, the two rounds of voting were separated by three rather than the usual two weeks.

As four years earlier, main contestants for the parliamentary seats were the partners of the outgoing conservative coalition government headed by the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF), the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP) led by former Foreign Minister Gyula Horn, the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz) headed by Mr. Gabor Kuncze, the centrist League of Young Democrats (FIDESZ) led by Mr. Viktor Orban and, finally, the MDF’s two right-wing allies: the Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKgP) and the Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP).

The crucial issues of the campaign were the state of the country’s economy and the social consequences of its recent restructuring. Basically, every party advocated extensive privatisation, the differences lying in the pace and means of achieving this so as to avoid negative effects such as even higher rates of inflation (to 22%) and unemployment (to 13%), as well as a fall in industrial output. Since the 1990 elections, the MDF had been hurt by public reaction to these economic ills unabated by reform, internal division, the death of popular Prime Minister Jozsef Antall and a series of real estate-financial scandals. As a consequence, opinion polls favoured the Socialists. During the campaign, Mr. Horn echoed the proposal of his party’s liberal faction of a “social pact” between the government, labour unions and employers to set prices, wages and other policies during the free-market reform period. In foreign affairs, the contestants differed little, supporting Hungary’s full membership in the European Union and NATO.

On the polling days, the Socialists, though internally split in more orthodox/ex-communist and liberal reformist factions, swept to victory, securing an absolute majority of 209 seats although obtaining a disproportionately low percentage of the national vote in the first round, which saw a high turnout. Notwithstanding their total, the victors signed a pact on 24 June with centre-left SzDz, creating the foundation for a broad-based coalition Government that controlled 72% of the Assembly seats. Mr. Horn thus replaced Mr. Peter Boross as Prime Minister and the new Council of Ministers was sworn in on 15 July.

Round no 1 (8 May 1994): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 7,800,000 (approx.)
Voters 68.9%
Valid votes 5,400,926
Round no 2 (29 May 1994): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 7,800,000 (approx.)
Voters 55.1%
Valid votes 4,286,598

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group %
Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP) 32.99
Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz) 19.74
Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) 11.74
Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKgP) 8.82
Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) 7.03
League of Young Democrats (FIDESZ) 7.02
Agrarian Association -
Liberal Civic Alliance (Entrepreneurs’ Party) -

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Single-member constituency Seats Gain/Loss
Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP) 209 149 +176
Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz) 69 16 -23
Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) 38 5 -127
Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKgP) 26 1 -17
Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) 22 3 +1
League of Young Democrats (FIDESZ) 20 -1
Agrarian Association 1 1 n.a.
Liberal Civic Alliance (Entrepreneurs’ Party) 1 1 n.a.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 343
Women: 43

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Copyright 1994 Inter-Parliamentary Union