President of Hungary

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President of the
Republic of Hungary
Magyarország köztársasági elnöke
Presidential Standard of Hungary.svg
Ader Janos.jpg
Incumbent
János Áder

since 10 May 2012
Residence Sándor Palace
Budapest, Hungary
Appointer National Assembly
Term length Five years, renewable once
Inaugural holder Mátyás Szűrös
Formation 23 October 1989
Website The Office of the President of the Republic:
keh.hu (in Hungarian; at October 2012, home page offered link to English module)
Coat of arms of Hungary.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Hungary
Foreign relations

The President of the Republic of Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarország köztársasági elnöke, államelnök, or államfő) is the head of state of Hungary. The office has a largely ceremonial (figurehead) role, but may also veto legislation or send legislation to the Constitutional Court for review. Most other executive powers, such as selecting Government ministers and leading legislative initiatives, are vested in the office of the Prime Minister instead.

The current President of the Republic is János Áder, who took office on 10 May 2012.

Presidential election[edit]

The Constitution of Hungary provides that the National Assembly (Országgyűlés) elects the President of the Republic for a term of five years, renewable only once.

Independence of the function[edit]

According to Article 12 (2) of the Constitution, the President, when exercising their function, can not exercise "a public, political, economic or social function or mission". They may not engage in "any other paid professional activity, and may not receive remuneration for any other activity, other than activities subject to copyright".

Condition for the candidature[edit]

According to Article 10 (2), any Hungarian citizen aged at least 35 years may be elected President.

Electoral process[edit]

Called by the President of the National Assembly, the presidential election must be held between 30 and 60 days before the end of the term of the incumbent president, or within 30 days if the office is vacated.[1]

The Constitution states that candidatures must be "proposed in writing by at least one fifth of the members of the National Assembly".[2] They shall be submitted to the President of the National Assembly before the vote. A member of the National Assembly may nominate only one candidate.[2]

The secret ballot must be completed within 2 consecutive days at the most. In the first round, if one of the candidates obtains more than 2/3 of the votes of all the members of the National Assembly, the candidate is elected.[3]

If no candidate obtains the required majority, the second round is organized between the two candidates who obtained the most votes in the first round. The candidate obtaining the majority of the votes cast in the second round shall be elected president. If the second round is unsuccessful, a new election must be held after new candidatures are submitted.[4]

Oath of office[edit]

According to Article 11 (6), the President of the Republic must take an oath before the National Assembly.

The oath is as follows:

Én, [name of the person] fogadom, hogy Magyarországhoz és annak Alaptörvényéhez hű leszek, jogszabályait megtartom és másokkal is megtartatom; [name of the function] tisztségemet a magyar nemzet javára gyakorolom. [And, according to the conviction of the one who takes the oath] Isten engem úgy segéljen!

I [name of the person], swear to be faithful to Hungary and its Constitution, to respect and enforce its legal rules by others; I shall exercise my function as the [name of the function] for the good of the Hungarian nation. [And, according to the conviction of the one who takes the oath] May God help me!

Competencies and prerogatives[edit]

According to the Constitution, "the Head of State of Hungary is the President of the Republic who expresses the unity of the nation and oversees the democratic functioning of State institutions". Commander-in-Chief of the Hungarian Defence Force, he "represents Hungary", "may participate in the sittings of the National Assembly and take the floor", "initiate laws" or a national referendum. It determines the date of elections, participates in "decisions concerning particular states of law" (state of war, emergency, emergency...), convokes the National Assembly after the elections, can dissolve it, check the conformity of a law by the Constitutional Court.

It "proposes the names of the Prime Minister, the President of the Curia, the Principal Public Prosecutor and the Commissioner of Fundamental Rights", the sole nominator of judges and the President of the Budget Council. With the "countersignature of a member of the government", he appoints the ministers, the president of the National Bank, the heads of independent regulatory entities, university professors, generals, mandate ambassadors and university rectors", "awards decorations, rewards and titles". But it can refuse these appointments "if the statutory conditions are not fulfilled or if it concludes for a well-founded reason that there would be a serious disturbance to the democratic functioning of the State institutions".

Also with the agreement of the government, it "exercises the right of individual pardon", "decides matters of organization of territory" and "cases concerning the acquisition and deprivation of citizenship".

Immunity and removal from office[edit]

According to Article 12 of the Constitution, "the President of the Republic is inviolable". Consequently, all criminal proceedings against them can only take place after the end of their mandate.[5]

However, Article 13 (2) of the Constitution provides for the removal of the President. This can only take place if the President "intentionally violates the Constitution or another law in the performance of their duties, or if they commit an offense voluntarily". In such a case, the motion for removal should be proposed by at least 1/5 of the members of the National Assembly.

The indictment procedure is initiated by a decision taken by secret ballot by a majority of 2/3 of the members of the National Assembly.[6] Subsequently, in proceedings before the Constitutional Court, it is determined whether the President should be relieved of their duties.[7]

If the Court establishes the responsibility of the President, the President shall be removed from office.[8]

Succession[edit]

Termination of mandate and incapacity[edit]

According to Article 12 (3), the term of office of the President of the Republic ends:

  • When the term of office is completed;
  • By the death of the President;
  • By an incapacity which renders impossible the performance of their duties for more than 90 days;
  • If they no longer meets the conditions for being eligible;
  • A declaration of incompatibility of duties;
  • By the resignation;
  • By the dismissal.

According to Article 12 (4), the National Assembly must decide by a majority of 2/3 of all its members to decide the incapacity of the President of the Republic to exercise their responsibilities for more than 90 days.

Absence (temporary incapacity)[edit]

According to Article 14 (1), if the President of the Republic is temporarily incapable of exercising their functions and powers, these are exercised by the President of the National Assembly (who can not delegate them to their deputies and who is replaced in their duties by the Vice President of the National Assembly[9] until the end of the President's incapacity.

According to Article 14 (2), the temporary incapacity of the President of the Republic is established by the National Assembly on the proposal of the President himself, the Government or a member of the National Assembly.

Living former Presidents[edit]

There are three living former Hungarian Presidents:

Latest election[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Article 11 (1) of the Constitution
  2. ^ a b Article 11 (2) of the Constitution
  3. ^ Article 11 (3) of the Constitution
  4. ^ Article 11 (4) of the Constitution
  5. ^ Article 13 (1) of the Constitution
  6. ^ Article 13 (3) of the Constitution
  7. ^ Article 13 (4) of the Constitution
  8. ^ Article 13 (6) of the Constitution
  9. ^ Article 14 (3) of the Constitution

External links[edit]