Politics

Presidents Of Hungary Since 1989

Since the fall of communism in Hungary, these men have been the central European nation's democratic Heads of State.

The country of Hungary is located in Central Europe. From 1949 until 1989 Hungary was a satellite state of the Soviet Union. During the Revolutions of 1989, Hungary peacefully transitioned from a communist country to having democracy and capitalism. Unlike the other Eastern Bloc countries that broke from the Soviet Union and communism, Hungary did not adopt a new constitution right away. Instead, they took the 1949 Constitution and heavily amended it. In 2011 the country adopted a new constitution, which came into force on January 1, 2012.

Some of the presidents of Hungary:

Árpád Göncz

Árpád Göncz (1922-2015) was the second President of Hungary and the first elected president of the country. During the inaugural meeting of parliament on May 2nd 1990, Göncz was elected Speaker of the National Assembly and was therefore the Acting President of Hungary. On August 4th of that year he was officially elected to his first full term as president of the country. During his time as president, Göncz was an eager support of Hungarian integration with the West, especially in terms of joining the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) and relations with the United Kingdom. Hungary joined NATO during his presidency in 1999, but would not join the EU until 2004. During the first four years of his presidency Göncz often clashed with Prime Minister József Antall and his conservative cabinet. This led to critics saying he was not acting as a unifying force for the county and was acting with his party's interests in mind. During the next four years under Prime Minister Gyula Horn and his socialist cabinet Göncz took on a more symbolic role and was much less involved in daily political activities. This continued the last two years of his presidency when Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his conservative cabinet came to power.

János Áder (Incumbent)

János Áder is the sixth and current President of Hungary, having been elected on May 2nd, 2012 about a month after the resignation of his predecessor. He has stressed the fourth generation human rights outlined in the new constitution, as well as the country being active in the UN’s Friends of Water working group and dealing with water and sanitation issues. Áder's most controversial moment came in March 2013 when he signed the controversial fourth amendment to Hungary's constitution sighting national unity, despite that fact that he did not necessarily agree with it. This amendment was controversial due to the fact that it was argued that it restricted the Constitutional Court's powers and gave more power to the president of the Kuria and the chief prosecutor.

The duties of the president of Hungary:

The president of Hungary serves as the head of state and commander-in-chief for the country. They are elected once every five years by the National Assembly. The position of president is largely a ceremonial position but it does come with some important duties. The president is the one who appoints the prime minister and ask for a coalition government to be formed if no party wins a majority of seats in the National Assembly. The president also may participate in Parliament and initiate certain laws or national referendum. They can also decide dates for elections, dissolve Parliament and can take decisions in respect to certain special legislation.

Presidents of Hungary Since 1989Term in Office
Mátyás Szűrös
1989-1990
Árpád Göncz
1990-2000
Ferenc Mádl
2000-2005
László Sólyom
2005-2010
Pál Schmitt
2010-2012
János Áder (Incumbent)2012-Present

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