Hungary Table of Contents
The Party Rules stated that members who violated party norms were subject to punishments ranging from a reprimand to expulsion. In addition, a less formal form of punishment involved the so-called "exchange of party cards," in which the old party cards were replaced for the faithful and the membership of those persons who had broken party discipline was revoked.
The HSWP could take several forms of disciplinary action against its members. Punishments included a reprimand, censure, severe censure, severe censure with final warning, and expulsion. From 1980 through 1985, the HSWP expelled 7,639 members. In addition, the party could suspend members from their office for a specified period of time or could recall party members from public office.
Disciplinary proceedings took place at the membership meetings of the Basic Organization. Higher party organs confirmed or rejected the decision of the Basic Organization. Ultimately, the party's Central Control Committee could also review the decision.
The exchange of party cards took place on a party wide scale. Between 1945 and 1977, six such exchanges occurred. The HSWP began another exchange of party cards in 1986 to strengthen party discipline and maintain Kadar's control over the party. As of April 1988, approximately 46,000 members left the party as a result of that exchange: 250 were expelled, about 40,000 left voluntarily, 1,500 were advised to leave, and 4,000 were taken off the membership list, probably for failure to pay their membership dues.
Data as of September 1989