Hungary’s Prime Minister said today he is resigning because of his government’s low popularity amid a worsening financial crisis. Ferenc Gyurcsany, of the ruling Socialists, told the party’s congress that he considered himself a hindrance to further economic and social reforms. Instead of early elections, lawmakers are likely to chose a new prime minister to be in place until parliamentary elections scheduled for mid-2010.
Gyurcsany said that he will officially notify parliament of his decision on Monday and called for a meeting of his party in two weeks to choose a candidate to head the new administration. It was not clear if the candidate would be from the Socialists, a compromise candidate from another party or an independent. Gyurcsany said he intended to hold on to his position as the party’s chairman, which would give him a say in choosing the candidate, who would then be proposed to parliament for a vote. Gyurcsany became the prime minister in 2004 and won re-election in 2006. He has struggled to maintain a parliamentary majority since 2006 amid the deteriorating economic conditions.
Hungary has been badly hit by the global financial crisis and has received a $25.1bn (£17.4bn) loan from the International Monetary Fund and other institutions.