Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Union

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The Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Union (in Hungarian: Fidesz-Magyar Polgári Szövetség) is a large centre-right conservative and Christian Democratic[1] political party in Hungary. It has won 164 seats, or 42,49% of the total mandates (386) in a party-coalition with the Hungarian Christian Democratic People's Party, and became the largest opposition party in Hungary. Fidesz is also a member of the European People's Party.


It was founded in 1988, named simply Fidesz (Fiatal Demokraták Szövetsége, Alliance of Young Democrats), originally as a youthful libertarian, anticommunist party. Fidesz was founded by young democrats, mainly students, who were persecuted by the communist party and had to meet in small, clandestine groups. The movement became a major force in many areas of modern Hungarian history, engaging itself on every level in the development of a democratic system, its members being active as guardians of fundamental human rights.

In 1989 Fidesz won the Rafto Prize. The Hungarian youth opposition movement was represented by one of its leaders, Dr Péter Molnár, who became a Member of Parliament in Hungary.

After its disappointing result in the 1994 election, Fidesz changed its political position from liberal to conservative. In 1995, it added "Hungarian Civic Party" (Magyar Polgári Párt) to its shortened name. The conservative turn caused a severe split in the membership. Péter Molnár left the party, as well as Gábor Fodor and Klára Ungár, who joined the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats.

Fidesz gained power in 1998 under leader and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who governed Hungary in coalition with the smaller Hungarian Democratic Forum and the Independent Smallholders, Agrarian Workers and Civic Party.

It narrowly lost the 2002 elections to the Hungarian Socialist Party, by 41.07% to the Socialists' 42.05%. Fidesz had 169 members of the Hungarian National Assembly, out of a total of 386. Following this defeat, the local elections in October saw huge Fidesz losses.

In the spring of 2003, Fidesz took its current name, "Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Union".

It was the most successful party in the 2004 European Parliamentary Elections, gaining 47.4% of the vote and electing 12 MEPs including Lívia Járóka, the second Roma MEP.

In 2005 Fidesz and the Christian KDNP formed an alliance for the 2006 elections. At these elections this alliance was defeated, despite winning 42.0% of the list votes and 164 representatives out of 386 in Parliament.

On October 1, 2006, Fidesz won the local elections, which served to weaken the Socialist Party's (MSZP) tenuous grip on power. According to results Fidesz won 15 of 23 mayoralties in Hungary's largest cities—although its candidate narrowly lost the city of Budapest to long time mayor (since 1990), and member of the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), Gábor Demszky, but won the majorities in 18 out of 19 county assemblies.

Electoral results

Parlamentary elections

Elections Number of votes
(1st round)
Proportion of votes
(1st round)
Number of votes
(2nd round)
Proportion of votes
(2nd round)
Number of MPs (out of 386) Proportion of MPs Parlamentary role
1990 439 481 8.95% 63 064* 1.85%* 21 5.44% opposition
1994 379 295 7.02% 29 391* 0.69%* 20 5.18% opposition
1998 1 263 522 28.18% 187 609 38,80% 148 38.34% government
2002 2 306 763 41.07% 2 196 524 49.97% 164 42.49% opposition
2006 2 272 979 42.03% 1 511 176 46.65% 164 (141)** 42.49% opposition

* Due to large number of resigns in favor of other parties
** From 164 MPs, 23 formed the separate fraction of KDNP, Fidesz has a fraction of 141

Fidesz formed an electoral coalition with Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) for the 2002, and with the Hungarian Christian Democratic People's Party for the 2006 elections.


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