National Peasant Party (Hungary)

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National Peasant Party
Nemzeti Parasztpárt
First leader Péter Veres
Last leader Gyula Fekete (?)
Founded 1939 (1st)
31 October 1956 (2nd)
11 June 1989 (3rd)
Dissolved 1949 (1st)
4 November 1956 (2nd)
c. 1998 (3rd)
Newspaper Szabad Szó
Ideology Agrarianism
Political position Left-wing
Coat of arms of Hungary.svg
This article is part of a series on the
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The National Peasant Party (Hungarian: Nemzeti Parasztpárt, NPP) was a political party in Hungary between 1939 and 1949. It was led by the writer Péter Veres. The party was revived for a short time during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and after the end of communism in 1989–90.

History[edit]

The party was established in 1939, but was only formalised as an organisation on 19 September 1944.[1] It won 42 seats in the National Interim Assembly elections in 1944. By the following year it had 170,000 members,[2] although it was reduced to 23 seats in the parliamentary elections that year. However, the following year the party won 36 of the 411 seats in the parliamentary elections.

For the 1949 elections it ran as part of the Communist-led Hungarian Independent People's Front, winning 39 seats.[3] The adoption of a new constitution in August 1949 saw the country became a one-party state, with the NPP being merged into the Communist-led Hungarian Working People's Party.[1][4]

Following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the party was revived under the name Petőfi Party and served in the short-lived new government.[5] During the transition to democracy (1989–90), members of the Péter Veres Society re-established the party under the name Hungarian People's Party (MNP) on 11 June 1989 and participated in the Opposition Round Table Talks. The MNP had high hopes regarding the first democratic election, however they received only 0.8% of the votes. After that the presidium took the name of Hungarian People's Party–National Peasant Party. Shortly before the 1994 parliamentary election, two-thirds of the membership joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDSZ) led by Zoltán Bíró and Imre Pozsgay. The MNP–NPP was wiped off by the end of the decade.[6]

Ideology[edit]

The party's main policy was land reform. It attracted the support from the middle and lower classes in the countryside, as well as intellectuals in the provinces, and was most popular in eastern Hungary.[2] It was sponsored by the Communist Party, as the Communists could not attract support amongst rural voters.[1] Its supporter base meant it was closer to the Hungarian Communist Party than the Hungarian Social Democratic Party, with some of its leaders, including Ferenc Erdei and József Darvas, being closet communists.[7]

Parliamentary representation[edit]

Election year National Assembly Government
# of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
1944
42 / 498
in government
1945
324,772
6.9 %
23 / 409
in government
1947
413,409
8.28 %
36 / 411
in government
19491
5,478,515
97.1 %
39 / 402
in government
1990
37,047
0.8 %
0 / 386
extra-parliamentary

1NPP was a member of the Communist-led Hungarian Independence People's Front (MFN). Hungary became a single-party state after the 1949 election.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Vincent E McHale (1983) Political parties of Europe, Greenwood Press, p507 ISBN 0-313-23804-9
  2. ^ a b Mária Palasik (2011) Chess Game for Democracy: Hungary Between East and West, 1944-1947, McGill-Queen's Press, p37
  3. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p931 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  4. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p880
  5. ^ McHale, p508
  6. ^ Múlt-kor (2009) Magyar Néppárt a népi írók nyomdokain
  7. ^ Palasik, p38