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.[3]

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.[4] 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.

Prime Minister of Hungary
Magyarország miniszterelnöke
Coat of Arms of Hungary (oak and olive branches)
Viktor Orbán 2018
Viktor Orbán

since 29 May 2010
StyleMr. Prime Minister (informal)
His Excellency (diplomatic)
Member of
Reports toNational Assembly
SeatHungarian Parliament Building
NominatorPresident of Hungary
AppointerElected by National Assembly
Term lengthFour years, no term limit
Inaugural holderCount Lajos Batthyány
Formation17 March 1848
DeputyDeputy Prime Minister
SalaryHUF 25,680,000 annual, including MP's salary[2]
WebsiteThe Prime Minister's Office

Official title

The title of Hungary's head of government in Hungarian is miniszterelnök. Literally translated, this means "Minister-President". However, since "Prime minister" or "premier" is the more usual title in a parliamentary system for a head of government in English-speaking nations, the title is translated as "Prime Minister" by most English sources.

History of the office

Portrait of Count Lajos Batthyány by Miklós Barabás, 1848. He was appointed as Hungary's first Prime Minister.

Palatine of Hungary

The palatine (Latin: comes palatii, comes palatinus, later palatinus (regni), Hungarian: nádorispán/ nádor, Slovak: nádvorný župan/ nádvorný špán, later: palatín / nádvorník, German: Palatin) was the highest dignitary in the Kingdom of Hungary after the king (a kind of powerful Prime Minister and supreme judge) from the kingdom's rise up to 1848/1918.

Initially, he was in fact the representative of the king, later the vice-regent (viceroy). In the early centuries of the kingdom, he was appointed by the king, later elected by the Diet of the Kingdom of Hungary. After the Habsburgs solidified their hold of Hungary, the dignity became an appointed position once again. Finally, it became hereditary in a cadet (junior) branch of the Habsburg dynasty after King Francis appointed his brother Joseph.

Creation of the position

During the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 the revolutionaries wanted the creation of a Hungarian cabinet which would be independent from the Austrian Empire and the Buda Chancellery (which was office of the Imperial Governor-General). One of the 12 points said: 2. A responsible government in Buda-Pest.

Ferdinand V appointed Count Lajos Batthyány for the position of Prime Minister of Hungary on 17 March 1848. The government was called ministry, differently from the current acceptation. The ministries were called departments. Batthyány resigned on October 2, 1848 he was succeeded by Lajos Kossuth as President of the Committee of National Defence. This executive body has not been allocated the portfolios. In April 1849, when the Hungarians had won many successes, after sounding the army, Kossuth issued the celebrated Hungarian Declaration of Independence. In May Bertalan Szemere was appointed Prime Minister. The position was vacant after the defeat of the freedom fight.

Living former Prime Ministers

As of April 2019, 5 former Prime Ministers of Hungary are alive. Viktor Orbán, who served as Prime Minister from 1998 to 2002, is currently serving and thus is not included on this list.

Name Term of office Date of birth
Miklós Németh 1988–1990 24 January 1948 (age 71)
Péter Boross 1993–1994 27 August 1928 (age 90)
Péter Medgyessy 2002–2004 19 October 1942 (age 76)
Ferenc Gyurcsány 2004–2009 4 June 1961 (age 57)
Gordon Bajnai 2009–2010 5 March 1968 (age 51)

See also


  1. ^ "2011. évi CCII. törvény Magyarország címerének és zászlajának használatáról, valamint állami kitüntetéseiről" [Act CCII of 2011 on the Use of the Coat of Arms and Flag of Hungary and on State Awards]. CompLex Hatályos Jogszabályok Gyűjteménye (in Hungarian). Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  2. ^ "How much cost is the PM's work? And others? 2,14 million HUF per month, annually 25,68 million.(Hungarian)". Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Members of the Government". Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  4. ^ "The Fundamental Law of Hungary (English)" (PDF). Hungarian State. Retrieved 8 May 2017.

External links

Dénes Berinkey

Dénes Berinkey (17 October 1871 – 25 June 1944) was a Hungarian jurist and politician who served as 21st Prime Minister of Hungary in the regime of Mihály Károlyi for two months in 1919.

On 20 March 1919 the French presented the Vix Note ordering Hungarian troops further back into Hungary; it was widely assumed that the military lines would be the new frontiers. Berinkey was unwilling to accept the Note, as it would have endangered the country's territorial integrity. However, he was in no position to reject it either. As a result, Berinkey and his cabinet resigned. President Károlyi then announced only the Social Democrats could form a new government. Unknown to Károlyi, however, the Social Democrats had merged with the Communists. Thus, when Károlyi turned over power to what he thought was a Social Democratic government, he was actually swearing in a Communist one. The new government promptly proclaimed the Hungarian Soviet Republic.

Ferenc Nagy

Ferenc Nagy (Hungarian: [ˈfɛrɛnt͡s ˈnɒɟ]; 8 October 1903 – 12 June 1979) was a Hungarian politician of the Smallholders Party. He was a Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary from 29 November 1945 to 5 February 1946 and a member of the High National Council from 7 December 1945 to 2 February 1946.

Nagy was reported to be of peasant origins.Later he served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 4 February 1946 to 31 May 1947. He was elected in 1946, in Hungary's first democratic election. As prime minister, he resisted attempts by the Hungarian Communist Party to gain complete control of the government. He refused attempts by the Communists to become a puppet of a Soviet backed police state, but resigned under duress (they had kidnapped his son). He gave up the premiership in return for his son and 300,000 Swiss francs. Subsequently he was granted asylum in the United States.

Nagy documented his life and political career in The Struggle behind the Iron Curtain, published by MacMillan in 1948. In 1959, he was reported to have been the president of Permindex, a trade organization headquartered in Basel, Switzerland Royalties from his memoirs helped him buy a house with a substantial garden plot in Herndon, Virginia (then an exurb of Washington, D.C.), there to live out his days.


Geszt is a village in Békés County, in the Southern Great Plain region of south-east Hungary.

The name of the village appeared first in a written document in 1213.

Kálmán Tisza, the Prime Minister of Hungary between 1875 and 1890, was born here.

Gyula Károlyi

Gyula Count Károlyi de Nagykároly (7 May 1871 in Baktalórántháza – 23 April 1947) was a conservative Hungarian politician who served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 1931 to 1932. He had previously been prime minister of the counter-revolutionary government in Szeged for several months in 1919. As prime minister, he generally tried to continue the moderate conservative policies of his predecessor, István Bethlen, although with less success.

Gyula Szapáry

Count Gyula Szapáry de Szapár, Muraszombat et Széchy-Sziget (1 November 1832 – 20 January 1905) was a Hungarian politician who served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 1890 to 1892.

István Bittó

Count István Bittó de Sárosfa et Nádasd (May 3, 1822 in Sárosfa, Kingdom of Hungary (today Blatná na Ostrove, Slovakia) – March 7, 1903 in Budapest) was a Hungarian politician who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of Hungary from 10 September 1872 to 23 March 1874 and as Prime Minister of Hungary from 1874 to 1875.

István Dobi

István Dobi (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈiʃtvaːn ˈdobi]; 31 December 1898 – 24 November 1968) was a Hungarian politician who was the Prime Minister of Hungary from 1948 to 1952. He was the first Communist to hold the post, joining the party shortly after it seized full control of the country in 1949.

István Friedrich

István Friedrich (1 July 1883 – 25 November 1951) was a Hungarian politician, footballer and factory owner who served as Prime Minister of Hungary for three months between August and November in 1919. His tenure coincided with a period of political instability in Hungary immediately after World War I, during which several successive governments ruled the country.

József Széll

József Széll de Duka et Szentgyörgyvölgy (14 October 1880 – 27 August 1956) was a Hungarian politician, who served as Interior Minister between 1937 and 1938. He was the nephew of Kálmán Széll, former Prime Minister of Hungary.

Kálmán Darányi

Kálmán Darányi de Pusztaszentgyörgy et Tetétlen (22 March 1886 in Budapest – 1 November 1939 in Budapest) was a Hungarian politician who served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 1936 to 1938. He also served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of Hungary from 5 December 1938 to 12 June 1939 and from 15 June 1939 to 1 November 1939. Darányi was associated with the radical right in Hungarian politics, and although not sympathetic to the Hungarian fascists, pursued an increasingly authoritarian policy at home, and an alliance with the fascist powers Germany and Italy abroad.

Kálmán Széll

Kálmán Széll de Duka et Szentgyörgyvölgy (8 June 1843 – 16 August 1915) was a Hungarian politician who served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 1899 to 1903.


Körösladány is a town in Békés County, in the Southern Great Plain region of south-east Hungary.

Béla Wenckheim, a Hungarian politician, who served as the Prime Minister of Hungary in 1875, was born here.

Lajos Dinnyés

Lajos Dinnyés (Alsódabas, 16 April 1901, in – Budapest, 3 May 1961) was a Hungarian politician of the Smallholders Party who served as the last pre-communist Prime Minister of Hungary from 1947 to 1948.

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.

Menyhért Lónyay

Menyhért Count Lónyay de Nagylónya et Vásárosnamény (Nagylónya, 6 January 1822 – Budapest, 3 November 1884) was a Hungarian politician who served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 1871 to 1872.

He was born to an aristocratic Protestant family, and studied law in Pest. He became a member of the Hungarian Diet in 1843, where he was a member of the opposition, though he also opposed the protectionist tariff system of Lajos Kossuth. He was undersecretary of state in the government brought to power by the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, and fled when the rebellion was put down in 1849. He returned to the country in 1850 under an amnesty. Upon his return, he promoted control of the Tisza river and organized agriculture and the financial sector. He protested in favor of the autonomy of Protestant churches after the Patent of 1859 endangered them.

He was appointed Minister of Finance under the first constitutional Prime Minister, Gyula Andrássy, in 1867, and in 1870 became the Minister of Finance of Austria-Hungary. In August 1871 he was raised to the rank of Count, and in November 1871 he became Prime Minister of Hungary. He was driven from office relatively quickly, however, amidst accusations of corruption: He was accused directly by a member of the Diet on 18 November 1872, and was dismissed on 2 December of that year. He became a member of the upper chamber of the Diet in 1875, and died in 1884.

Miklós Kállay

Dr. Miklós Kállay de Nagykálló (23 January 1887, Nyíregyháza – 14 January 1967, New York City) was a Hungarian politician who served as Prime Minister of Hungary during World War II, from 9 March 1942 to 22 March 1944.

Miklós Németh

Miklós Németh [ˈmikloːʃ ˈneːmɛt] (born 24 January 1948, in Monok, Hungary) is a Hungarian economist and politician, who served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 24 November 1988 to 23 May 1990. He was one of the leaders of the Socialist Workers' Party, Hungary's Communist party, in the tumultuous years that led to the collapse of communism in Eastern and Central Europe. He was the last Communist Prime Minister of Hungary.


Nagybajom is a town in Somogy County, Hungary. The name of the town literally translated meaning My Big Problem (Nagy+baj+om).

Unity Party (Hungary)

The Unity Party (Hungarian: Egységes Párt) was a Hungarian political party founded in 1921. The party was founded by István Bethlen and shortly afterwards won a majority of seats in the Hungarian parliament in the 1922 elections, becoming the governing party with Bethlen becoming Prime Minister of Hungary. On 27 October 1932, the party was renamed National Unity Party (Hungarian: Nemzeti Egység Pártja), while since 2 February 1939 the name was Party of Hungarian Life (Hungarian: Magyar Élet Pártja).

The party, initially more agrarian and conservative, grew similar to fascist movements, establishing a militia. It first became the ruling party of Hungary from 1932 to 1936 under the leadership of Gyula Gömbös, who was Prime Minister of Hungary during that time. Gömbös declared the party's intention to achieve "total control of the nation's social life". In the 1935 Hungarian Election, Gömbös promoted the creation of a "unitary Hungarian nation with no class distinctions".The party won a huge majority of the seats of the Hungarian parliament in the Hungarian election of May 1939. It won 72 percent of the parliament's seats and won 49 percent of the popular vote in the election. This was a major breakthrough for the far-right in Hungary. The party promoted nationalist propaganda and its members sympathized with the Nazi Arrow Cross Party.A faction of the most pro-National Socialist members led by the party's former leader Béla Imrédy split from the party October 1940 to form the Party of Hungarian Renewal (Magyar Megújulás Pártja) that sought to explicitly solve the Jewish Problem.

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