Hungary was part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I. The country fell under Communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. Under the leadership of Janos KADAR in 1968, Hungary began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called "goulash Communism." Hungary held its first multiparty elections in 1990 and initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and is scheduled to accede to the EU along with nine other states on 1 May 2004. In an April 2003 referendum, 84 percent voted in favor of joining the EU. .
Present day Hungary is a Republic form of government. The Republic of Hungary is an independent, democratic constitutional state. In the Republic of Hungary supreme power is vested in the people, who exercise their sovereign rights directly and through elected representatives. No activity of any social organization, government body, or individual citizen may be directed at the forcible acquisition or exercise of public power, nor at the exclusive possession of such power. Everyone has the right and obligation to resist such activities in such ways as permitted by law. The head of state is the President, Arpad Goncz. The head of government is the Prime minister, Peter Medgyessy. Hungary is a parliamentary democracy with a freely elected legislative assembly, which initiates and approves legislation. The Prime Minister nominates the cabinet, and Parliament approves the choices after open hearings. Viktor Orban, the leader of the Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Party, heads a center-right coalition Government which was formed in June, 1998, with the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) and the Smallholders' Party (FKGP).Fidesz controls 147 of the 386 parliamentary seats, and the coalition as a whole controls 211 seats.