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Hungarian political leaders await result of crucial local elections

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Hungarian political leaders await result of crucial local elections


In local elections in Hungary, the ruling socialist-led parties are hoping to retain control of the capital, Budapest, and other cities. If the mayor of Budapest, Gabor Demszky, is returned, the result would be a major boost for prime minister Ferenc Gyurczany who has been under severe pressure following his admission that he lied to the people about the country’s economic situation.

President Laszlo Solyom of Hungary implicitly suggested the prime minister should step down. In a television broadcast on sunday he said the premier had used unacceptable methods to retain power. He said the key to solving the political crisis was in the hands of the majority in parliament.

Opposition leader Viktor Orban leader of the Fidesz party, has described this weekend’s local elections as a referendum on the government. He said Gyurczany’s economic austerity programme was leading the country to catastrophe.

Hungary has been beset by a political crsis for two weeks, with demonstrators holding nightly anti- government protests in the capital. Over 200 people have been hurt in clashes with police.

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