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Hungarian Working People's Party

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Hungarian Working People's Party
Magyar Dolgozók Pártja
First leaderMátyás Rákosi
Last leaderJános Kádár
Founded12 June 1948
Dissolved31 October 1956
Merger ofMKP
Succeeded byMSZMP
NewspaperSzabad Nép
Political positionFar-left
National affiliationPatriotic People's Front
International affiliationCominform (1948-1956)
Party flag

The Hungarian Working People's Party (Hungarian: Magyar Dolgozók Pártja, abbr. MDP) was the ruling communist party of Hungary from 1948 to 1956.

It was formed by a merger of the Hungarian Communist Party (MKP) and the Social Democratic Party of Hungary (MSZDP).[1] Ostensibly a union of equals, the merger had actually occurred as a result of massive pressure brought to bear on the Social Democrats by both the Hungarian Communists, as well as the Soviet Union. The few independent-minded Social Democrats who had not been sidelined by Communist salami tactics were pushed out in short order after the merger, leaving the party as essentially the MKP under a new name.

Other minor legal Hungarian political parties were allowed to continue as independent coalition parties until late 1949 but were completely subservient to the MDP.

Its leader was Mátyás Rákosi until 1956, then Ernő Gerő in the same year for three months, and eventually János Kádár until the party's dissolution.

During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the party was reorganized into the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (MSZMP) by a circle of communists around Kádár and Imre Nagy. The new government of Nagy declared to assess the uprising not as counter-revolutionary but as a "great, national and democratic event" and to dissolve State Security Police (ÁVH). Hungary's declaration to become neutral and to exit the Warsaw Pact caused the second Soviet intervention on 4 November 1956. After 8 November 1956, the MSZMP, under Kádár's leadership, fully supported the Soviet Union.

Unification congress poster

Leaders of the Hungarian Working People's Party[edit]

General/First Secretaries[edit]

No. Picture Name
Term of Office Position(s)
1 Mátyás Rákosi
12 June 1948 18 July 1956 General Secretary
First Secretary (from 28 June 1953)
2 Ernő Gerő
18 July 1956 25 October 1956
3 János Kádár
25 October 1956 31 October 1956


No. Picture Name
Term of Office Notes
1 Árpád Szakasits
12 June 1948 24 April 1950 Also President (1948–1949) and Chairman of the Presidential Council (1949–1950)

Electoral history[edit]

National Assembly elections[edit]

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1949 Mátyás Rákosi as part of Patriotic People's Front
285 / 402
Increase 285 Increase 1st Sole legal party
206 / 298
Decrease 79 Steady 1st Sole legal party

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Neubauer, John, and Borbála Zsuzsanna Török. The Exile and Return of Writers from East-Central Europe: A Compendium. New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2009. p. 140