RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 172, 7 September 1998
HUNGARIAN SOCIALISTS ELECT NEW LEADER. At its congress
on 5 September, the opposition Hungarian Socialist
Party (MSZP) elected former Foreign Minister Laszlo
Kovacs as party chairman, Hungarian media reported.
Kovacs, who is also the party's parliamentary group
leader, won by a vote of 384 to 144 over former trade
union leader Sandor Nagy. Kovacs replaces ex-Premier
Gyula Horn, who after the party's defeat in the May
general elections announced that he will step down. "The
MSZP can succeed only if it becomes a modern social
democratic party," Kovacs said. The congress also
elected Peter Kiss as executive deputy chairman and
Gyorgy Foldes as chairman of the party's National Board.
WILL CABINET SURVIVE? The chairman of the
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR), Bela
Marko, said after the meeting with President
Constantinescu that he failed to extract from the
coalition partners a promise to pass through the
parliament the amendment to the education law allowing
the setting up of a Hungarian-language state university.
Marko added that the UDMR will support in the parliament
only those economic reform measures with which it
agrees. At a meeting of the UDMR's Council of
Representatives on 5 September, the UDMR decided that
agreement on the proposed amendment must be reached by
30 September or it will leave the ruling coalition. Such
a scenario could mean the cabinet will not longer have
sufficient votes to pass laws that require a special
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