The Alliance of Young Democrats (Hungarian acronym: Fidesz) was founded in Budapest during the early stages of Hungary’s transition from communism to democracy on March 30, 1988. Thirty-seven people, mostly students from the Loránd Eötvös University Department of Law and Political Sciences in Budapest, signed Fidesz’s founding declaration. Five of these signatories—Viktor Orbán, László Kövér, Tamás Deutsch, József Szájer and Zsolt Németh—currently hold senior government or parliamentary office. Prominent pro-Fidesz journalist and main organizer of the pro-government Peace March demonstrations, Zsolt Bayer, is also a founding member of the party.
Viktor Orbán has been the undisputed leader of Fidesz since the party’s establishment. He has been president of Fidesz since this office was created in 1993 for all but three years during and immediately after his first period as prime minister from 1998–2002. (László Kövér served as president of Fidesz in 2000 and 2001, Zoltán Pokorni in 2001 and 2002 and János Áder in 2002 and 2003.) Prime Minister Orbán won unopposed reelection to the post of president of Fidesz with 99.7 percent of the 1,177 votes cast at the party’s 26th congress on December 13, 2015 (source in Hungarian).
Fidesz started as a liberal party before Viktor Orbán gradually transformed it into a conservative, Christian-nationalist party between 1992 and 1998.
Fidesz has won mandates in Hungary’s National Assembly in all seven general elections held in Hungary since the country’s transition to democracy in 1990. Of the seven parliamentary cycles since that time, Fidesz has been in opposition four times (1990–1994, 1994–1998, 2002–2006 and 2006–2010) and been the ruling party three times (1998–2002 and 2010–2014 and 2014 to present).
The party contested the first three post-communist general elections independently and the last four in electoral alliance with other parties—the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) in 2002 and the Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) in 2006, 2010 and 2014.
The Fidesz-KDNP alliance commanded two-thirds super majorities in the National Assembly for the entire 2010–2014 parliamentary cycle and the first nine months of the 2014–2018 parliamentary cycle after winning 66.8 percent of the 199 seats in the legislature in Hungary’s 2014 general election. As of April 2016, the Fidesz-KDNP alliance controlled 65.8 percent of seats in the National Assembly.
Fidesz provides 7 of 12 ministers in Hungary’s current government, while three ministers are members of the KDNP and two others are nominally independent.
Last updated: April 25, 2016.