Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance

Published 17th March, 2014

Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance or more typically Fidesz (Fiatal Demokraták Szövetsége, meaning the Alliance of Young Democrats) was founded on 30th March 1988 by a group of young liberal anti-communist democrats. In 1995 it absorbed the Hungarian Civic Party and became Fidesz-MPP and in 2003 it became Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Alliance (some say Union instead of Alliance). The party has moved from a once Liberal position to a more Centre-right position in recent years. It believes in National conservatism, Conservatism and is Soft Eurosceptic.

In the first free elections in 1990 Fidesz only managed to win 21 seats and in 1994 they dropped to 20 of the 386 seats in parliament. In late 1993 the party dropped the 35 year old upper age limit which had been holding it back and turned more conservative in their outlook.

Their change of stance along with a poor performance by the Socialists meant that Fidesz made a dramatic improvement in 1998 when they won 148 seats. It was also helped by Fidesz entering into an alliance with the Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) which had won 21 and 22 seats respectively in 1990 and 1994.

Viktor Orbán became the new Prime Minister after the 1998 general election and formed a right wing coalition with the Independent Smallholders, Agrarian Workers and Civic Party and the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF).

The Fidesz alliance narrowly lost the 2002 general election in terms of percentage vote to the Socialists but they took 188 seats to the Socialist’s 178 seats. The Socialists were, however, able to form an alliance with the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) and held on to government in 2006 when Fidesz dropped to 164 seats.

As the Socialist became increasingly unpopular and after revelations by the Prime Minister that he had lied to the electorate, Fidesz did well in the municipal elections of 2006, taking 15 of the 23 mayoralties in the largest cities and they went on to do well in the 2009 European elections where they took 14 of the 22 national seats.

The subsequent general election in 2010 saw Fidesz and the Christian Democrats win 262 seats in the Országgyűlés or National Assembly with 52.73% of the vote and the opportunity to make constitutional changes, which they have since completed.

Fidesz was formerly a member of Liberal International (1992 – 2000) but is now a member of the International Democrat Union (IDU) and Centrist Democrat International. Regionally it is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) and also a member of the EPP in the European parliament where it has 14 of the 22 national seats.

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