Defense Minister Csaba Hende


Csaba Hende served as defense minister in the second and third Orbán governments from May 29, 2010 until his resignation on September 7, 2015. 

Hende served as a state secretary in the justice ministry at the time of first Orbán government between 1998–2002. 


Born and raised in the city of Szombathely in western Hungary (population 78,000). Received degree at the Loránd Eötvös University School of Law and Politics in Budapest in 1983. Subsequently returned to Szombathely, where he worked as a lawyer until 1991. 

Joined the Hungarian Democratic Forum conservative-nationalist opposition party in 1988.

Worked as legal advisor at the defense ministry at the time of the Hungarian Democratic Forum-led government from 1991-1994.

Again returned to to Szombathely to work as a lawyer following the Hungarian Democratic Forum’s defeat in 1994 National Assembly elections.

Worked as a state secretary under Hungarian Democratic Forum justice minister Ibolya Dávid in the first Orbán government from 1998 until 2002.

Served as coordinator of the Civil Circle [Polgári Kör] grassroots political organizations that Viktor Orbán launched in order to ensure “readiness and movement, if the moment arrives” after Fidesz lost the 2002 National Assembly elections. 

Has served as National Assembly representative over the past four parliamentary cycles, since 2002. Was initially a member of the Hungarian Democratic Forum National Assembly caucus before leaving this party in 2004 to join Fidesz. Has been a member of the Fidesz National Assembly caucus since the latter year.

Had no military experience prior to his appointment to the office of defense minister other than his compulsory service in the Hungarian People’s Army in the 1980s.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has asked Hende to investigate the possibility of moving the Defense Ministry from Budapest to the city of Székesfehérvár (pop. 100,000) in central Hungary by March 15, 2016 (source in Hungarian). 

Last updated: June 27, 2018.

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