Vol. 1, No. 140, 16 October 1997
HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS FORGOING NATO
REFERENDUM. Prime Minister Gyula Horn on 15 October said if it is
impossible to hold the NATO accession referendum on 16 November,
the cabinet will decide on joining the organization without such a
vote, Hungarian media reported. In a telephone conversation with
NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana, Horn stressed that the
parliamentary dispute over the referendum is not directed against
accession. Solana said he considers the matter a domestic political
issue. During his recent visit to Prague, President Arpad Goncz said
Hungary's NATO accession must have priority over all other issues,
since the "country's development for centuries" is at stake.
CHAIRMAN OF HUNGARIAN PEOPLE'S PARTY RESIGNS. Ivan Szabo
announced on 15 October that owing to conflicts within the
opposition Hungarian Democratic People's Party, he is resigning as its
chairman and parliamentary faction leader, Hungarian media
reported. He pointed to the fact that although the party's caucus had
agreed not to vote on the issue of the NATO referendum, only six
members abided by that agreement. Szabo will remain faction leader
until 30 October, while deputy chairman Gyorgy Rasko is now acting
head of the party.
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