Publication: The Daily Telegraph

Full Citation

  • Title Hungary opposition wins poll
  • Author Underhill, William
  • Publication Title The Daily Telegraph
  • Collection The Daily Telegraph
  • Date Monday,  July 24, 1989
  • Issue Number 41704
  • Page Number 11
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library Telegraph Media Group
  • Copyright Statement © Telegraph Media Group Limited.
Hungary opposition wins poll HUNGARY'S opposition won its first parliamentary seat for more than 40 years at a weekend by-election in which the official Communist party candidate was overwhelmingly defeated. But the triumph was tempered by concern over widespread apathy in three other byelections in provincial towns and cities. The polls generated little public interest despite the upheavals of recent months and the upsurge of activity by newlylegalised political parties. By William Underhill in Budapest The poor turnout does not augur well for the opposition's chances at the national elections, scheduled for next year, when it will compete on equal terms with the Communists for the first time. In two of the constituencies, Szeged and Kecskemet, opposition candidates led the field, but turnout was below the required 50 per cent minimum, and fresh elections will now be called. A further poll will also be needed in the southern town of Kiskunfeiegyhaza, where none of the candidates gained the necessary share of the vote. Only in the town of Godollo, east of Budapest, was the opposition able to secure a clear victory, winning almost 70 per cent of the vote. The candidate was a member of the Hungarian Democratic Forum, the largest of the new opposition groups. He won almost twice the votes cast for his Communist rival. Opinion polls have indicated that the electorate knows little about the opposition and is often indifferent to politics.