Leader of Hungary's Socialist Party resigns

AP News
Posted: May 29, 2014 7:16 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The leader of Hungary's Socialist Party, the largest opposition group, has resigned after a surprisingly poor showing in elections for the European Parliament.

Attila Mesterhazy said Thursday he is stepping down as party president and as leader of the Socialist faction in the Hungarian legislature.

Defeat of a Socialist-led coalition in April's national elections had been expected and Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party won another two-thirds majority.

In last week's European elections, however, the left-wing parties ran separately and the Socialists were third with 10.9 percent. It was their worst performance since the 1990 elections ending communism, when the party included mostly former officials of the Soviet-backed regime.

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Adding to the distress, the far-right Jobbik party was second on Sunday with 14.7 percent.