RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL NEWSLINE 15 April 1999
DIRECT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN HUNGARY? The National
Election Committee on 14 April ruled by a vote of 6-3
that the Social Democratic Youth Movement may start
collecting signatures on a petition calling for direct
presidential elections, Hungarian media reported. The
committee's decision takes effect if not challenged in
the Constitutional Court within three days and the
signature-collecting drive needs to be endorsed by
200,000 people. It would be binding on the parliament.
The opposition wants to prevent Smallholders' Party
leader Jozsef Torgyan from succeeding Arpad Goncz as
president with the backing of the ruling coalition,
though the coalition has not yet decided to back
Torgyan's candidacy. MS
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