Hungary Table of Contents
Between party congresses, in principle the supreme power in the HSWP rested with the Central Committee. The Central Committee acted on "behalf of the party with respect to state, government, and social organs and in international relations." The Central Committee, according to the Party Rules, held plenums at least once every three months. It had the power to elect department heads of the Central Committee apparatus; direct the operations of the party's central institutions, newspapers, and periodicals; nominate the editorial boards of the central publications; supervise the performance of professional party activists; allocate party funds; control the work of government organs; and approve the economic plan, other economic and social policies, and the national budget for debate and ratification by the National Assembly (see National Assembly , this ch.). The Central Committee also administered leading party education institutions, such as the Political College and the Social Science Institute, and dealt with ideological questions and international affairs. Virtually the whole life of the country fell within the purview of the Central Committee.
The Thirteenth Party Congress elected a 105-member Central Committee. That congress retained seventy-six members elected at the Twelfth Party Congress in 1980 and elected twenty-nine new members. In June 1987, the Central Committee grew to 107 members after the deaths of 5 members and the appointments of 7 others. In April 1988, the Central Committee had 106 members after the death of another member.
Personal merit and institutional affiliation determined who was selected to the Central Committee, with most members selected because of their positions. Members included officials of the central party apparatus, party leaders on the county level, and leading officials of the trade unions, the military, and mass organizations. Some economic officials also gained membership. Other members of the Central Committee worked in the media or were active in the fields of science, culture, or the arts.
Data as of September 1989