Budapest, January 22 (MTI) – The former leader of the Independent Smallholders’ Party József Torgyán has died, aged 84, his family told MTI.
Torgyán passed away surrounded by close family early Sunday.
Torgyán was born on November 16, 1932 in Mateszalka in northeast Hungary. He studied in Budapest, first music, then law, graduating with honours in 1955. He was a practicing lawyer until 1990.
Torgyán joined the Independent Smallholders, Agrarian Workers and Civic Party (FKGP) during the crushed anti-Soviet revolution of 1956 and he was among the organisers when the party resumed operations in 1988. He became the party’s leader in 1991 and held the post until 2002.
Torgyán was a member of parliament between 1990 and 2002 and FKGP group leader for a year starting in 1990 and later between 1994 and 1998.
He was Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in the government of Viktor Orbán in 1998-2001.
In 2000, he was the FKGP’s candidate for the office of President of Hungary but did not accept the nomination. In 2007, he founded the Movement for Renewing Hungary party which operated for one year.
News portal Ripost reported last December that Torgyán was hospitalised with congestive heart failure.