Hungarian government coalition splits

Hungary's junior coalition party said it would pull out of the government after the Socialists sacked the smaller party's health minister, effectively ending any hope of economic reforms.

Hungarian government coalition splits
Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany sacked Health Minister Agnes Horvath, a member of the Alliance of Free Democrats, following a defeat in a referendum on health reform, and said he planned to redraft health legislation.

"With his speech over the weekend, Ferenc Gyurcsany has backtracked ... from our coalition agreement, therefore the Free Democrats do not wish to continue cooperating with the government in the form of a coalition," party leader Janos Koka told a press conference on Monday.

Koka said his ministers would withdraw on April 30, though his party would not force an early election, which would almost certainly result in the Socialists being forced from government and the annihilation of the Free Democrats, who are polling at just one percent support.

Parties need 5 percent of the vote to get into parliament.

The Socialists do not have a parliamentary majority without the Free Democrats' backing. But Gyurcsany could keep power by persuading just four of them to join the Socialists, enough for his party to clinch a majority.

The Free Democrats have 20 representatives in the 386-seat parliament and the Socialists have 190.

They could also decide to support the Socialists from outside a formal coalition.

Agencies
Last Mod: 01 Nisan 2008, 11:23
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