President of Hungary

The President of the Republic of Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarország köztársasági elnöke, államelnök, or államfő) is the head of state of Hungary. The office has a largely ceremonial (figurehead) role, but may also veto legislation or send legislation to the Constitutional Court for review. Most other executive powers, such as selecting Government ministers and leading legislative initiatives, are vested in the office of the Prime Minister instead.

The current President of the Republic is János Áder, who took office on 10 May 2012.

President of the
Republic of Hungary
Magyarország köztársasági elnöke
Flag of the President of Hungary
Ader Janos
János Áder

since 10 May 2012
ResidenceSándor Palace
Budapest, Hungary
AppointerNational Assembly
Term lengthFive years, renewable once
Inaugural holderMátyás Szűrös
Formation23 October 1989
WebsiteThe Office of the President of the Republic: (in Hungarian; at October 2012, home page offered link to English module)

Presidential election

The Constitution of Hungary provides that the National Assembly (Országgyűlés) elects the President of the Republic for a term of five years, renewable only once.

Independence of the function

According to Article 12 (2) of the Constitution, the President, when exercising their function, can not exercise "a public, political, economic or social function or mission". They may not engage in "any other paid professional activity, and may not receive remuneration for any other activity, other than activities subject to copyright".

Condition for the candidature

According to Article 10 (2), any Hungarian citizen aged at least 35 years may be elected president.

Electoral process

Called by the President of the National Assembly, the presidential election must be held between 30 and 60 days before the end of the term of the incumbent president, or within 30 days if the office is vacated.[1]

The Constitution states that candidatures must be "proposed in writing by at least one fifth of the members of the National Assembly".[2] They shall be submitted to the President of the National Assembly before the vote. A member of the National Assembly may nominate only one candidate.[2]

The secret ballot must be completed within 2 consecutive days at the most. In the first round, if one of the candidates obtains more than 2/3 of the votes of all the members of the National Assembly, the candidate is elected.[3]

If no candidate obtains the required majority, the second round is organized between the two candidates who obtained the most votes in the first round. The candidate obtaining the majority of the votes cast in the second round shall be elected president. If the second round is unsuccessful, a new election must be held after new candidatures are submitted.[4]

Oath of office

According to Article 11 (6), the President of the Republic must take an oath before the National Assembly.

The oath is as follows:

Én, [name of the person] fogadom, hogy Magyarországhoz és annak Alaptörvényéhez hű leszek, jogszabályait megtartom és másokkal is megtartatom; [name of the function] tisztségemet a magyar nemzet javára gyakorolom. [And, according to the conviction of the one who takes the oath] Isten engem úgy segéljen!

I [name of the person], swear to be faithful to Hungary and its Constitution, to respect and enforce its legal rules by others; I shall exercise my function as the [name of the function] for the good of the Hungarian nation. [And, according to the conviction of the one who takes the oath] May God help me!

Competencies and prerogatives

According to the Constitution, "the Head of State of Hungary is the President of the Republic who expresses the unity of the nation and oversees the democratic functioning of State institutions". Commander-in-Chief of the Hungarian Defence Force, he "represents Hungary", "may participate in the sittings of the National Assembly and take the floor", "initiate laws" or a national referendum. It determines the date of elections, participates in "decisions concerning particular states of law" (state of war, emergency, emergency...), convokes the National Assembly after the elections, can dissolve it, check the conformity of a law by the Constitutional Court.

It "proposes the names of the Prime Minister, the President of the Curia, the Principal Public Prosecutor and the Commissioner of Fundamental Rights", the sole nominator of judges and the President of the Budget Council. With the "countersignature of a member of the government", he appoints the ministers, the president of the National Bank, the heads of independent regulatory entities, university professors, generals, mandate ambassadors and university rectors", "awards decorations, rewards and titles". But it can refuse these appointments "if the statutory conditions are not fulfilled or if it concludes for a well-founded reason that there would be a serious disturbance to the democratic functioning of the State institutions".

Also with the agreement of the government, it "exercises the right of individual pardon", "decides matters of organization of territory" and "cases concerning the acquisition and deprivation of citizenship".

Immunity and removal from office

According to Article 12 of the Constitution, "the President of the Republic is inviolable". Consequently, all criminal proceedings against them can only take place after the end of their mandate.[5]

However, Article 13 (2) of the Constitution provides for the removal of the President. This can only take place if the President "intentionally violates the Constitution or another law in the performance of their duties, or if they commit an offense voluntarily". In such a case, the motion for removal should be proposed by at least 1/5 of the members of the National Assembly.

The indictment procedure is initiated by a decision taken by secret ballot by a majority of 2/3 of the members of the National Assembly.[6] Subsequently, in proceedings before the Constitutional Court, it is determined whether the President should be relieved of their duties.[7]

If the Court establishes the responsibility of the President, the President shall be removed from office.[8]


Termination of mandate and incapacity

According to Article 12 (3), the term of office of the President of the Republic ends:

  • When the term of office is completed;
  • By the death of the President;
  • By an incapacity which renders impossible the performance of their duties for more than 90 days;
  • If they no longer meets the conditions for being eligible;
  • A declaration of incompatibility of duties;
  • By the resignation;
  • By the dismissal.

According to Article 12 (4), the National Assembly must decide by a majority of 2/3 of all its members to decide the incapacity of the President of the Republic to exercise their responsibilities for more than 90 days.

Absence (temporary incapacity)

According to Article 14 (1), if the President of the Republic is temporarily incapable of exercising their functions and powers, these are exercised by the President of the National Assembly (who can not delegate them to their deputies and who is replaced in their duties by the Vice President of the National Assembly[9] until the end of the President's incapacity.

According to Article 14 (2), the temporary incapacity of the President of the Republic is established by the National Assembly on the proposal of the President himself, the Government or a member of the National Assembly.


Role in the legislation

The role of the President of the Republic in the legislative process[10]
President Self-proposed laws Political vetoes Constitutional vetoes All
Árpád Göncz
3 0 7 10
Árpád Göncz
0 2 1 3
Ferenc Mádl
0 6 13 19
László Sólyom
0 31 16 47
Pál Schmitt
0 0 0 0
János Áder
0 28 5 33
János Áder
0 3 1 4
All 3 70 43 116

Living former presidents

There are three living former Hungarian presidents:

Szűrös Mátyás 2012 (crop)
Mátyás Szűrös
September 11, 1933 (age 85)
László Sólyom
László Sólyom
January 3, 1942 (age 77)
Pál Schmitt
May 13, 1942 (age 76)

Latest election

Candidate Party Supporting parties 1st round 2nd round
Votes % of
all MPs
% of
voting MPs
Votes % of
all MPs
% of
voting MPs
János Áder Fidesz FideszKDNP 131 65.8 74.9 131 65.8 77.1
László Majtényi Independent MSZPLMPDKEgyüttPMMLP 44 22.1 25.1 39 19.6 22.9
Total votes 175 87.9 170 85.4
Did not vote 24 12.1 29 14.6
Total seats 199 100 199 100

See also


  1. ^ Article 11 (1) of the Constitution
  2. ^ a b Article 11 (2) of the Constitution
  3. ^ Article 11 (3) of the Constitution
  4. ^ Article 11 (4) of the Constitution
  5. ^ Article 13 (1) of the Constitution
  6. ^ Article 13 (3) of the Constitution
  7. ^ Article 13 (4) of the Constitution
  8. ^ Article 13 (6) of the Constitution
  9. ^ Article 14 (3) of the Constitution
  10. ^ "A köztársasági elnök szerepe a törvényalkotásban". Országgyűlés.

External links

2012 Hungarian presidential election

An early indirect presidential election was held in Hungary on 2 May 2012, following the resignation of Pál Schmitt as President of Hungary on 2 April 2012. János Áder was elected President with an absolute majority.

2017 Hungarian presidential election

An indirect presidential election was held in Hungary on 13 March 2017. János Áder was elected President of Hungary for a second term.

András Tasnádi Nagy

András Tasnádi Nagy (29 January 1882 – 1 July 1956) was a Hungarian politician and jurist, who served as Minister of Justice between 1938 and 1939.

He finished law studies at the University of Budapest. He worked as a lawyer from 1908. He worked for the Hungarian Railways as counsel between 1910 and 1925, and as attorney general until 1926. He became administrative state secretary of the Ministry of Justice in 1933 later he served in the Ministry of Religion and Education. Tasnádi Nagy was elected to the Diet of Hungary in the colours of the governing Party of National Unity in 1935. He regained his seat in 1939. He was appointed justice minister in the Béla Imrédy cabinet.

He served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1 November 1939 to 29 March 1945. He also held his position after the Arrow Cross Party's coup. He became a leading member of the National Alliance of Lawmakers which was established by the Nazi-dominated puppet government. As a result of this after the Second World War Tasnádi Nagy was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment by the People's Tribunal in Budapest. The first judgement was the capital punishment but Zoltán Tildy, the President of Hungary provided grace, so it was changed. Tasnádi Nagy died in captivity.

Ferenc Mádl

Ferenc Mádl (Hungarian: [ˈfɛrɛnt͡s ˈmaːdl̩]; 29 January 1931 – 29 May 2011) was a Hungarian legal scholar, professor and politician, who served as the second President of the third Republic of Hungary, between 4 August 2000 and 5 August 2005. Prior to that he had been minister without portfolio between 1990 and 1993 then Minister of Education between 1993 and 1994 in the conservative cabinets of József Antall and Péter Boross. Mádl ran unsuccessfully for the position of President of Hungary in 1995, defeated by Árpád Göncz. Five years later he was elected President as the candidate of the governing conservative coalition.

István Fodor

István Fodor (born 2 March 1945) is a former Hungarian politician, who served as Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary between 1989 and 1990. The Third Hungarian Republic was established on 23 October 1989 and the legislative speaker Mátyás Szűrös became Provisional President of Hungary. Fodor was appointed Speaker besides Szűrös.

After the 1990 elections he became an independent representative in the new National Assembly. He was the chairman of the Alliance of the Hungarian Resistants and Antifascists from 1999 to 2000.

János Áder

János Áder (Hungarian: [ˈjaːnoʃ ˈaːdɛr]; born 9 May 1959) is a Hungarian politician and lawyer who has been the President of Hungary since 10 May 2012. Previously he served as Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary from 1998 to 2002 and deputy chairman of the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety from January to May 2012.

Katalin Szili

Katalin Szili (born 13 May 1956 in Barcs, Hungary) is a former member of the Hungarian Parliament, who served as the Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary from 2002 to 2009.

List of Prime Ministers of Hungary

The following is a list of Prime Ministers of Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarország miniszterelnöke, literally Ministers-President) from when the first Prime Minister (in the modern sense), Lajos Batthyány, took office in 1848 (during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848) until the present day. The prime minister is head of the Government of Hungary.

There are currently five living former Prime Ministers of Hungary.

List of Speakers of the National Assembly (Hungary)

The Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarország Országgyűlésének elnöke, literally the President of National Assembly of Hungary) is the presiding officer of the National Assembly of Hungary. The current Speaker is László Kövér, since 6 August 2010.

The Speaker of the National Assembly serves as acting President of Hungary if the elected president vacates the office before the expiration of the 5-year presidential term due to death, resignation or removal from office.

László Kövér

László Kövér (Hungarian: [ˈlaːsloː ˈkøveːr]; born 29 December 1959) is a Hungarian politician and the current Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary. He was the acting President of Hungary from 2 April 2012 to 10 May 2012, after the resignation of Pál Schmitt.

He is a founding member of Fidesz from 1988, and he served as Minister without portfolio for the Civilian Intelligence Services during the first Viktor Orbán administration. In 2000 he was appointed leader of the party, but he resigned from his position in the next year.

László Sólyom

László Sólyom (Hungarian: Sólyom László, pronounced [ˈʃoːjom ˈlaːsloː]; born 3 January 1942) is a Hungarian political figure, lawyer, and librarian who was President of Hungary from 2005 until 2010. Previously he was president of the Constitutional Court of Hungary from 1990 to 1998.

Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary

The Hungarian Order of Merit (Hungarian: Magyar Érdemrend) is the second highest State Order of Hungary. Founded in 1991, the order is a revival of an original order founded in 1946 and abolished in 1949. Its origins can be traced to the Order of Merit of the Kingdom of Hungary which existed from 1922 until 1946.

Since 2011, the Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary is the highest State Order of Hungary.

Orders, decorations, and medals of Hungary

The following is a list of medals, awards and decorations in use in Hungary. The state awards may be awarded only by the President of Hungary.

Prime Minister of Hungary

The Prime Minister of Hungary (Hungarian: miniszterelnök) is the head of government in Hungary. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Parliament, to their political party and ultimately to the electorate. The current holder of the office is Viktor Orbán, leader of the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance, who has served since 29 May 2010.According to the Hungarian Constitution, the President of Hungary is required to nominate the leader of the political party who wins a majority of seats in the National Assembly of Hungary as Prime Minister. If there is no party with a majority, the President holds an audience with the leaders of all parties represented in the Assembly and nominates the person who is most likely to command a majority in the Assembly, who is then formally elected by a simple majority of the Assembly. In practice, the leader of the party winning a plurality of votes in the elections is usually named Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has a leading role in the executive branch in accordance with the Hungarian Constitution. The Prime Minister selects Cabinet ministers and has the exclusive right to dismiss them. Cabinet nominees appear before one or more parliamentary committees in consultative open hearings. They must then survive a vote by Parliament and be formally approved by the President.

Pál Schmitt

Pál Schmitt (Hungarian: [ˈpaːl ˈʃmitt]; born 13 May 1942) is a Hungarian Olympic fencer and politician who served as President of Hungary from 2010 to 2012.

Schmitt was a successful fencer in his youth, winning two gold medals at the Summer Olympics. Later, he served as an ambassador during the 1990s and was a Vice President of the European Parliament from 2009 to 2010. After briefly serving as Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary in 2010, Schmitt was elected as President of Hungary in a 263 to 59 vote in the Parliament of Hungary. He was sworn in as President on 6 August 2010. On 2 April 2012, Schmitt announced to the Hungarian Parliament his resignation as President, following the outbreak of a controversy surrounding his 1992 doctoral dissertation.

Péter Bárándy

Péter Bárándy (born 12 June 1949) is a Hungarian politician and jurist, who served as Minister of Justice between 2002 and 2004. He is a member of the Bárándy family, which is a famous lawyer dynasty in Hungary. He was a founding member and deputy chairman of the Republic Party in 1992 but the party never gain a seat until its abolishment (1996). After that Bárándy did not participate in Hungary's political life until 2002.

Péter Medgyessy appointed him justice minister on 27 May 2002. During his ministership Bárándy was one of the most popular politicians. As a result he was nominated to the position of President of Hungary, but he stepped back because only few MPs supported him.

Sarolta Monspart

Sarolta Monspart (born 17 November 1944) is a Hungarian orienteering competitor. She was the first non-Scandinavian female runner who has won the World Orienteering Championships back in 1972.She is considered to be the most successful orienteer in Hungary. During her active years she has won 14 national orienteering championships and 6 cross-country skiing championships. She was the first European woman to finish the marathon distance within 3 hours.

Her sport career was stopped because of a serious encephalitis inflammation caused by a tick. After recovering from the disease she persuades women to live a healthy life. Sarolta Monspart received a medal for lifetime merit from Ferenc Mádl, president of Hungary in 2003.

Zoltán Tildy

Zoltán Tildy (Hungarian: [ˈzoltaːn ˈtildi]; 18 November 1889 – 4 August 1961), was an influential leader of Hungary, who served as Prime Minister from 1945–1946 and President from 1946 until 1948 in the post-war period before the seizure of power by Soviet-backed communists.

Zsolt Borkai

Zsolt Borkai (born August 31, 1965 in Győr, Győr-Moson-Sopron) is a Hungarian Olympic gymnast champion. He is also the mayor of Győr since 2006.

He competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, where he received a gold medal in pommel horse. He received a gold medal in pommel horse and a bronze medal in the horizontal bars at the 1987 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam.

Borkai became President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee after his predecessor, Pál Schmitt, was elected President of Hungary in 2010. Borkai was replaced by Krisztián Kulcsár on 2 May 2017.

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