Imre Pozsgay

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Imre Pozsgay
Ünnepi Könyvhét 2012 - 0003.JPG
Minister of Education of Hungary
In office
27 June 1980 – 25 June 1982
Preceded by Károly Polinszky
Succeeded by Béla Köpeczi
Personal details
Born (1933-11-26) 26 November 1933 (age 81)
HUN Kóny COA.jpg Kóny, Kingdom of Hungary
Political party MDP, MSZMP, MSZP, NDSZ
Profession politician
The native form of this personal name is Pozsgay Imre. This article uses the Western name order.

Imre Pozsgay (born 1933 in Kóny[1]) is a Hungarian, ex-Communist, politician who played a key role in Hungary's transition to democracy after 1988. He is currently an advisor to prime minister Viktor Orbán.

Pozsgay joined the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party after he graduated with an English degree from the Lenin Institute in Budapest. He worked for the party at both local and national levels and became deputy minister in 1975.

On 28 January 1989, he (although a member of the politburo) stunned the Communist establishment by labelling the 1956 Hungarian revolution not a counterrevolution but a "popular uprising".[2]

His calls for reform (which he describes in his book Turning Point and Reform) led to a falling-out with the party’s leader János Kádár which in turn moved Pozsgay to become chairman of the party’s mass organization the Patriotic Front.

Kádár was removed from his Minister of State position in 1988 and Pozsgay was placed into his old position.

Jointly with Otto von Habsburg, Imre Pozsgay was the sponsor of the Pan-European Picnic of 19 August 1989, where hundreds of East Germans who were visiting Hungary were able to cross the previously impenetrable Iron Curtain into Austria.[2]

In October 1989, the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party renamed itself the Hungarian Socialist Party and announced Poszgay as their Deputy President. However in 1991 he quit the party to form a new one, which he headed himself, called the National Democratic Alliance. It lasted until 1996.

Pozsgay was a member of the National Assembly of Hungary from 1983 to 1994 and since then has been teaching at the University of Debrecen.[1]

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Political offices
Preceded by
László Orbán
Minister of Culture
Succeeded by
post abolished
Preceded by
Károly Polinszky
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Béla Köpeczi
National Assembly of Hungary
Preceded by
Csaba Hámori
Leader of the MSZP parliamentary group
Succeeded by
Zoltán Gál