Following a flurry of rival petitions on Monday, the spontaneous political groupings that represent the Kossuth ter demonstrators are trying to sustain the illusion of unity. Nonetheless, fractures are beginning to show, not just between the rival groups, but within them as well. Gyorgy Budahazy, currently sought by the police, has condemned Andras Takacs, one of the demonstration's leaders. And if you can no longer follow who's with whom and what which group wants, then has a summary.

The leaders of the two main groups behind the Kossuth ter
demonstrations, the Hungarian National Committee 2006 (MNB) and the
Revolutionary National Committee (FNB), insist the two organisations
are at one with each other, and that there no differences of opinion
between them. Andras Takacs and Jozsef Halasz claim only their groups
have the right to speak for the Kossuth ter protesters. Perhaps – but
over the past few days, other voices have been heard on the square. It
is no coincidence that Takacs's group had some explaining to do: on
Monday morning, it was not they, but another group that handed a
petition to Parliament's Civic Affairs Office.

Hungarian National Committee 2006

It is clear that the the MNB, formed last Tuesday, and the FNP, are
the two most important groups. It was Andras Takacs, a leading figure
in the demonstration, who announced the establishment of the MNB. Many
condemn Andras Takacs's leadership style. Among them is Gyorgy
Budahazy, who has become nationally known for his activities on
Szabadsag ter. In a letter, he called on protestors to „stop" Takacs,
saying his self-importance was undermining the movement, just as he
had done to the Movement for a Free Hungary.

The MNB has 13 members, but apart from Takacs, only three of them have
the right to make „political representations." They are Tamas Molnar,
who walked out of the far-right Jobbik party at the outbreak of the
demonstrations, and who has called the police state terrorists, Dr
Karoly Tamas, Dr Jozsef Halasz and Laszlo Toroczkai, the
twenty-something leader of the 64 Counties Youth Movement. Apart from
them, Laszlo Gonda, a German-Hungarian mechanical engineer, and Barna
Balogh are frequently to be heard. Balogh is a spokesman for the
committee, whose aims include bringing down the Gyurcsany government,
summoning a national assembly to draft a new constitution, calling
early parliamentary elections and abolishing the 5 per cent threshold
for gaining parliamentary representation. The MNB regards Laszlo
Solyom, the president of the republic, as Hungary's highest official,
and though it is prepared to negotiate with the parliamentary parties,
it will not talk with the Gyurcsany government, which it regards as

Revolutionary National Committee

The FNB has similar aims. Gyorgy Ekrem Kemal, one of its members, is
also a protest organiser. He is known to the authorities: years ago,
he was given a suspended prison sentence for carrying out activities
against the constitutional order. Maria Wittner, a Fidesz MP, is
another member of the FNB, as are Imre Korosi, the Calvinist priest
Lorant Hegedus Jr, the lawyer Laszlo Nagy and the rock musician Lorant
Schuster. The remaining leaders are an unknown lawyer, an IT
specialist and a businessman.

Group for a New Hungary

The Group for a New Hungary, which shot to fame with its petition on
Monday, does not yet officially exist. It calls for the establishment
of a temporary government and also wants a national assembly to write
a new constitution. The group gains its prestige from the presence in
its ranks of former politicians (Imre Pozsgay and Matyas Szuros), a
nationally famous architect (Imre Makovecz), and a heart surgeon
(Lajos Papp). Their position on Kossuth ter is strengthened by the
fact that the Farmers' Alliance (Magosz) regards it as the leading
organisation on the square.

Protesters call it the Makovecz group. On Monday morning, the group
handed a petition to the head of the parliamentary Civic Affairs
Office. A while later, Laszlo Gonda of the MNB emphasised that they
had had no role to play in the drafting of Makovcecz's petition. In
fact the document was not even a petition at all, he said, merely a
declaration. Seeing these tensions, Gyorgy Budahazy, who is being
sought by the police, wrote a letter to the „patriots", saying that
Takacs's group should be glad that Makovecz's group was standing by

Other Hungarian Voices

Other groups on the square include the National Resurgence Movement,
which is demanding that all (or at least 193) MPs stand down, allowing
the president to call new elections.

Others seeking to profit from the demonstrations include Istvan
Csurka, who has already been heckled on the square. He aims to get in
on the ‚revolution' with the aid of his Hungarian October Committee.
The leader of MIEP said the Hungarian October Committee also wanted to
call a national assembly to write a constitution. Csurka, who has
called for a general strike, wants not only to bring down the
government, but to change the whole regime.
English version

Gyurcsany: Lies Speech

An audio tape has been broadcast of a private party speech given in May by Hungary's prime minister in which he admits his party lied to the public in order to win April's general election. These excerpts - which contain strong language - are translated from Ferenc Gyurcsany's official blog, Amoba. English version

Record of Gyurcsanys speech

A hijacker storms into the cockpit and threatens the crew with a gun. He screams that if they don't follow his orders, he'll shoot them. "If you shoot us, who will fly the aeroplane," asks the captain. "I don't think that far ahead," the pirate replies. English version

Party or personality?

It is impossible to forecast accurately the outcome of the local elections. Nor is it clear how Gyurcsany's leaked speech to Socialist MPs will affect public opinion. But certain trends do emerge from a Median poll conducted for HVG over the past few weeks. English version

The Great Hungarian Reality Show

We are living through the worst crisis in the history of the Third Republic. Events have clearly caught the political elites by surprise, both in government and in opposition, just as in October 1956, the commemoration of which has just become an even bigger problem for the Government. English version

Text message: There will be violence

Information gatherers from the company that provides security to a number of high-risk public institutions including Hungarian TV (MTV) were also among last night's crowds. Security company In-Kal's investigators warned the TV headquarters' security service in good time of the approaching violence, has learned. Thanks to the company, police were aware of the protesters' intentions before the siege began. Despite this, they did not move more officers into place. English version

Regrettable events

It was police passivity that allowed a series of demonstrations held in response to a private speech given by Ferenc Gyurcsany to become the centre of world attention. On a leaked recording of the speech, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the governing coalition had been focused entirely on political survival in the previous parliamentary cycle and that the government had lied in order to win the elections. English version


The reporter who covered the Szabadsag ter demonstrations for rolling news channel HirTV was not allowed into Parliament. Zoltan Rudi, president of Hungarian TV (MTV), had the same TV station's crew escorted out of his channel's press conference. The Free Democrats are demanding an apology, while HirTV is expressing concern that its freedom to inform is being threatened. English version

The TV under siege

Some 50 protestors have moved from Kossuth ter to protest in front of the Hungarian Television building. The protestors returned to Kossuth ter for reinforcement, and then returned to break down the building's front door. Police vans arrived at 11.30pm. The police have announced that they were launching an investigation into the attackers and would prevent anybody entering the television headquarters.

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