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Hungary to hold vote of confidence on premier, opposition plans mass rally

Hungary to hold vote of confidence on premier, opposition plans mass rally

Hungary's parliament will hold a vote of confidence Friday on Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany and his program of economic reforms.
Gyurcsany _ whose coalition suffered large setbacks in Sunday's nationwide municipal elections _ requested the vote seeking political support for his plans aimed at cutting the huge state budget deficit and transforming the country's inefficient public sector.
Gyurcsany's Socialists and their smaller associates, the Alliance of Free Democrats, have 210 seats in the 386-seat legislature, so the prime minister is expected to survive to vote.
Should he fail to win a simple majority of the votes, Gyurcsany and his government would have to resign and President Laszlo Solyom would nominate a new prime ministerial candidate for approval by parliament.
Demanding the ouster of Gyurcsany, the main center-right opposition party, Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Union, has called for a protest Friday afternoon at Kossuth Square outside parliament.
Led by former premier Viktor Orban, Fidesz has proposed setting up a government of experts to help steer the country out of the current crisis, and says voters' lack of trust in Gyurcsany undermines his chances of pushing through reforms.
Protests against the prime minister have been held since Sept. 17, when Gyurcsany was heard on a leaked recording admitting that the government lied about the economy to win April's general elections.
Gyurcsany says that he was trying to convince fellow Socialist lawmakers in the May speech that reforms were urgent and inevitable and that the government needed to stop deceiving voters.
President Solyom has criticized Gyurcsany, saying his speech and subsequent lack of remorse have undermined faith in democracy. Solyom has said that Friday's vote of confidence also will be about whether Gyurcsany used illicit means to win in April.
Kossuth Square has been the scene of the main anti-Gyurcsany protests of the past 2 1/2, sometimes drawing more than 20,000 people. Two nights of rioting two weeks ago, including an attack on state television headquarters, was blamed mostly on soccer hooligans but linked to the protests. Some 150 police and dozens of participants were injured in the riots.


Updated : 2020-12-04 10:56 GMT+08:00