Fidesz

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"Hungarian Civic Party" redirects here. For the political party in Romania, see Hungarian Civic Party (Romania).

Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Alliance
Fidesz - Magyar Polgári Szövetség
President Viktor Orbán
Vice Presidents Lajos Kósa (executive)
János Lázár
Ildikó Pelczné Gáll
Zoltán Pokorni
Parliamentary leader Antal Rogán
Founded 30 March 1988
Headquarters 1088 Budapest, VIII. Szentkirályi Street 18.
Youth wing Fidelitas
Ideology National conservatism[1][2]
Soft euroscepticism[3][4]
Populism[5][6]
Political position Right-wing[7][8][9][10][11]
International affiliation Liberal International (1992 - 2000),
International Democrat Union,
Centrist Democrat International
European affiliation European People's Party
European Parliament group European People's Party
Colours Orange
National Assembly
115 / 199
European Parliament
11 / 21
County Assemblies
245 / 419
Website
http://www.fidesz.hu/
Politics of Hungary
Political parties
Elections

The Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈfidɛs]; in full, Hungarian: Fidesz – Magyar Polgári Szövetség) is a major national conservative[2][12] political party in Hungary. On a joint list with the Christian Democratic People's Party,[13] Fidesz won two historic supermajorities in the National Assembly in both the 2010 and 2014 elections (two by-elections, both in Veszprém county, have since eliminated the supermajority[14][15]). Fidesz is, by far, the most popular party in Hungary, with majorities in all county legislatures (19 of 19), almost all (20 of 23) urban counties and in the Budapest city council too, based on the 2014 local elections. It has been described as a big tent party.[16][17] Fidesz is a member of the European People's Party (EPP).

History[edit]

The party was founded in 1988, named simply Fidesz (Fiatal Demokraták Szövetsége, meaning the Alliance of Young Democrats), originally as a youthful libertarian, anti-communist party. Fidesz was founded by young democrats, mainly students, who were persecuted by the communist party and had to meet in small, clandestine groups. The movement became a major force in many areas of modern Hungarian history. The membership had an upper age limit of 35 years (this requirement was abolished at the 1993 congress).

In 1989, Fidesz won the Rafto Prize. The Hungarian youth opposition movement was represented by one of its leaders, Dr Péter Molnár, who became a Member of Parliament in Hungary. In 1992, Fidesz joined the Liberal International.[18]

Fidesz received 8.95% (1990), 7.02% (1994) and 29.48% (1998).

After its disappointing result in the 1994 elections, Fidesz changed its political position from liberal to conservative.[2][18] In 1995, it added "Hungarian Civic Party" (Magyar Polgári Párt) to its shortened name. The conservative turn caused a severe split in the membership. Péter Molnár left the party, as well as Gábor Fodor and Klára Ungár, who joined the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats.

Fidesz gained power in 1998 under leader and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who governed Hungary in coalition with the smaller Hungarian Democratic Forum and the Independent Smallholders' Party. In 2000, Fidesz joined the European People's Party and had its membership in the Liberal International terminated.[18]

The former main office building of Fidesz

Fidesz narrowly lost the 2002 elections to the Hungarian Socialist Party, by 41.07% to the Socialists' 42.05%. Fidesz had 169 members of the Hungarian National Assembly, out of a total of 386. Following the defeat, the municipal elections in October saw huge Fidesz losses. In the spring of 2003, Fidesz took its current name, "Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union".[18]

It was the most successful party in the 2004 European Parliamentary Elections: it won 47.4% of the vote and 12 of its candidates were elected as Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), including Lívia Járóka, the second Romani MEP.

Some considered[citation needed] the election of Dr. László Sólyom as the new President of Hungary as the most recent success of the party. He was endorsed by Védegylet, an NGO including people from the whole political spectrum. His activity does not entirely overlap with the conservative ideals and he championed for elements of both political wings with a selective, but conscious choice of values.[19]

In 2005, Fidesz and the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP) formed an alliance for the 2006 elections. Despite winning 42.0% of the list votes and 164 representatives out of 386 in National Assembly, they were beaten by the social-democratic and liberal coalition of Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) and the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ).

On October 1, 2006, Fidesz won the municipal elections, which counterbalanced the MSZP-led government's power to some extent. Fidesz won 15 of 23 mayoralties in Hungary's largest cities—although its candidate narrowly lost the city of Budapest to a member of the Liberal Party—and majorities in 18 out of 20 regional assemblies.[20][21]

In the 2009 European Parliament election, Fidesz won a landslide victory, gaining 56.36% of the vote and 14 of Hungary's 22 seats. This predicted a landslide in the 2010 parliamentary elections, where they won the outright majority in the first round on April 11, with the Fidesz-KDNP alliance winning 206 seats, including 119 individual seats. In the final result, they won 263 seats, of which 173 are individual seats.[22] Fidesz held 227 of these seats, giving it an outright majority in the National Assembly by itself.

After winning 53% of the popular vote, which translated into a supermajority of 68% of parliamentary seats, giving Fidesz sufficient power to revise or replace the constitution, the party embarked on an extraordinary project of passing over 200 laws and drafting and adopting a new constitution—since followed by nearly 2000 amendments.

The new constitution has been widely criticized[23][24][25][26][27][28] by the Venice Commission for Democracy through Law,[29] the Council of Europe, the European Parliament[30] and the United States[31] for gathering too much power in the hands of the ruling party, Fidesz, for limiting oversight of the new constitution by the Constitutional Court of Hungary, and for removing democratic checks and balances in various areas, including the ordinary judiciary,[32] supervision of elections and the media. In October 2013 Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe declared that the criticised laws are acceptable for the Council of Europe.[33]

Fidesz won the nationwide parliamentary election in April 2014 and secured a second supermajority with 133 seats (of 199) in the legislature. This supermajority was lost, however, when Tibor Navracsics was chosen to the European Commission. His Veszprém county seat was taken by an independent candidate in a by-election.[14] Another by-election on 12 April 2015 saw the supermajority lose a second seat, also in Veszprém, to a Jobbik candidate.[15]

Peace March for Hungary, supporting Fidesz - 2014.03.29

Ideology[edit]

Currently, Fidesz is considered a national conservative party favoring interventionist policies on economical issues and European integration, and social democratic on social issues and handling of banks.[34][35][36] Like the Hungarian 'right' in general, it has been more skeptical of the neoliberal economic policies than the Hungarian 'left': according to researchers, the elites of the Hungarian 'left' (MSzP and SZDSZ) have been differentiated from the 'right' by being more supportive of the classical neo-liberal economic policies, while the 'right' (especially extreme right) has advocated more interventionist policies. In contrast, issues like church and state, family policies the former communists show alignment along the traditional left-right spectrum.[37] In July 2014, Premier Viktor Orbán expressed the opinion that "The wind is blowing from the East," referring to the recent increase of Russian influence and presenting the Russian authoritarian state as an alternative to the Western liberal state.[38]

Youth[edit]

In December 2005 the Congress of Fidesz established the Fidesz Youth Section as a division within the party gathering all members below the age of 30. The chairman of Fidesz Youth Section was Dániel Loppert until 2011. The current chairman is Áron Veress. The Fidesz Youth Section is member of European Democrat Students (EDS) and observer member in the Democrat Youth Community of Europe (DEMYC).

Electoral results[edit]

Results on the lists:

Election year National Assembly Government
# of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
1990 439,481
8.95 % (#5)
21 / 386
in opposition
1994 379,295
7.02 % (#6)
20 / 386
Decrease 1 in opposition
1998 1,263,522
28.18 % (#1)
148 / 386
Increase 128 in government
20021 2,306,763
41.07 % (#2)
164 / 386
Increase 16 in opposition
20062 2,272,979
42.03 % (#2)
141 / 386
Decrease 23 in opposition
20102 2,706,292
52.73 % (#1)
227 / 386
Increase 86 in government
20142 2,264,486
44.87 % (#1)
117 / 199
Decrease 110 in government

1 Joint list with Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF)

2 Joint list with Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP)

Single member constituencies voting consistently for Fidesz[edit]

The SMCs shown on the image have voted for Fidesz ever since 1998. SMCs with a paler hue of orange elected FKGP candidates in 1998, as part of a pact between the two parties.

Consistently Fidesz SMCs (inset shows Budapest)


In January 2010, László Kövér, head of the party's national board, told reporters the party was aiming at winning a two-thirds majority at the parliamentary elections in April. He noted that Fidesz had a realistic chance to win a landslide. Concerning the radical nationalist Jobbik party's gaining ground Kövér said it was a "lamentably negative" tendency, adding that it was rooted in the "disaster government" of the Socialist Party and its former liberal ally Free Democrats.[39]

European Parliament[edit]

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote # of overall seats won +/- Notes
2004 1,457,750 47.4 (#1)
12 / 24
2009 1,632,309 56.36 (#1)
14 / 22
Increase 2
2014 1,193,991 51.48 (#1)
12 / 21
Decrease 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dr Vít Hloušek, Dr Lubomír Kopecek (2013). Origin, Ideology and Transformation of Political Parties: East-Central and Western Europe Compared. Ashgate Publishing. p. 177.
  2. ^ a b c Bakke, Elisabeth (2010), "Central and East European party systems since 1989", Central and Southeast European Politics Since 1989 (Cambridge University Press): 79, retrieved 17 November 2011 
  3. ^ http://ispo.fss.muni.cz/uploads/2download/Chytilek-Kaniok-Hels06.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.policysolutions.hu/userfiles/elemzesek/Euroszkepticizmus%20Magyarorsz%C3%A1gon.pdf
  5. ^ "http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26908404". bbc.com. 2014-04-06. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  6. ^ "Orban leads Fidesz to third election win as far-right party makes gains". Japantimes.com. 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  7. ^ Right-wing Fidesz win election by landslide, Radio France Internationale, 12 April 2010, retrieved 18 November 2011 
  8. ^ Fidesz wins Hungary election with strong mandate, Reuters, 11 April 2010, retrieved 1 December 2011 
  9. ^ "Center-right Fidesz wins big in Hungary elections", Guardian, 12 April 2010, retrieved 1 December 2011 
  10. ^ "Socialists in Hungary Are Ousted in Elections", New York Times, 25 April 2010, retrieved 1 December 2011 
  11. ^ "Hungary’s centre-right claims victory in polls", Financial Times, 11 April 2010, retrieved 1 December 2011 
  12. ^ Hloušek, Vít; Kopeček, Lubomír (2010), Origin, Ideology and Transformation of Political Parties: East-Central and Western Europe Compared, Ashgate, p. 115 
  13. ^ Fidesz had common regional and nationwide lists and had common candidates with KDNP in the 2010 and 2014 elections.
  14. ^ a b "Hungary’s Ruling Party Loses Two-Thirds Majority after By-Election". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Dull, Szabolcs. "Győzött a Jobbik a tapolcai választáson". Index.hu. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "From challenging authority to full control". The Budapest Times. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Editorial note, John O'Sullivan". Hungarian Review. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c d Fidesz
  19. ^ (Hungarian) Sólyom politikaformáló erő akar lenni, Kern Tamás, Index.hu, August 22, 2005
  20. ^ "VoksCentrum - a választások univerzuma". Vokscentrum.hu. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  21. ^ "http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2006/10/03/2003330242". Taipeitimes.com. 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  22. ^ "Országos Választási Iroda - 2010 Országgyűlési Választások" (in Hungarian). Valasztas.hu. 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  23. ^ "Hungary's Constitutional Revolution," Kim Lane Scheppele, New York Times, December 19, 2011, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/hungarys-constitutional-revolution/ Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
  24. ^ http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2F%2FEP%2F%2FNONSGML%2BCOMPARL%2BPE-491.186%2B02%2BDOC%2BPDF%2BV0%2F%2FEN
  25. ^ http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/libe/dv/906/906320/906320en.pdf
  26. ^ http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2F%2FEP%2F%2FNONSGML%2BCOMPARL%2BPE-500.583%2B01%2BDOC%2BPDF%2BV0%2F%2FEN
  27. ^ http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2F%2FEP%2F%2FNONSGML%2BCOMPARL%2BPE-502.280%2B01%2BDOC%2BPDF%2BV0%2F%2FEN
  28. ^ "Documents by opinions and studies". Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  29. ^ "Opinion on the New Constitution of Hungary, 20 June 2011, "http://lapa.princeton.edu/hosteddocs/hungary/venice%20commission%20hungarian%20constitution.pdf Accessed Dec. 23, 2011
  30. ^ "European Parliament resolution of 5 July 2011 on the Revised Hungarian Constitution ," http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2011-0315+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN Accessed Dec. 23, 2011
  31. ^ "A Second Look - Op-Ed by Ambassador Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis published in the Hungarian weekly Heti Válasz December 8, 2011," Embassy of the United States in Budapest, Hungary, December 8, 2011, http://hungary.usembassy.gov/kounalakis12082011.html Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
  32. ^ http://esbalogh.typepad.com/hungarianspectrum/2011/12/the-end-of-the-independent-judiciary.html Accessed Dec. 23, 2011
  33. ^ "Ferenc Kumin — Council of Europe’s Jagland: ‘Hungarians Have Gone...". Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  34. ^ "Europe.view: Stars and soggy bottoms - The Economist". The Economist. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  35. ^ "Hegedűs Zsuzsa: Orbán igazi szociáldemokrata". Fent és lent - gátlástalan patriotizmus. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  36. ^ http://www.opendemocracy.net/gellért-rajcsányi/democracy-in-hungary-defence-of-fidesz
  37. ^ Bodan Todosijević The Hungarian Voter: Left–Right Dimension as a Clue to Policy Preferences in International Political Science Review (2004), Vol 25, No. 4, p. 421
  38. ^ Hungary's Viktor Orban Walks in Putin's Footsteps. The Moscow Times, 2014-08-05
  39. ^ MTI. "Opposition Fidesz aims at two-thirds majority". Politics.hu. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 

External links[edit]