A Hungarian media outlet talked with government sources about PM Viktor Orbán’s plans to reshape his government in the next term. The prime minister’s party won a landslide victory in the general elections on 3 April. He has more than enough MPs for a supermajority, and the Fidesz-KDNP alliance’s parliament group is rock-solid. No Fidesz or KDNP MPs have left for 20 years. However, experts agree that the new cabinet will have to deal with crisis management, at least in the first one or two years.
Left-leaning Hungarian daily Népszava gathered as much background information as possible from sources in and around the government. They claim that Orbán’s fifth government would form in May. Interestingly, Viktor Orbán is the longest-serving Hungarian prime minister (1998-2002, 2010- ) in Hungary’s history. Kálmán Tisza follows him, serving consecutively between 1875 and 1890. With the current term, Orbán will become first in that category. Thus, future historians will probably craft the term Hungary’s “Orbán-era.”
Regarding the new government, Népszava says that the minister of foreign affairs, Péter Szijjártó, will remain in office in the next term, as well. Despite rumours, the Hungarian daily says foreign trade would remain in Szijjártó’s portfolio. Sándor Pintér (74) will remain the interior minister, while Mihály Varga will keep the finance ministry. However, his portfolio will probably become thinner, minus the taxes and budget. Gergely Gulyás will remain the prime minister’s chief of staff. According to Népszava, Orbán had already agreed with Gulyás, Varga and Pintér about their work in the next term.
Orbán is to create a new ministry for economic strategy, energy, and developments. Its head will be Márton Nagy, an economist and former deputy director responsible for the financial stability and credit promotion of the National Bank of Hungary MNB. He left his office in 2020 because of a professional dispute with MNB governor György Matolcsy. Afterwards, he worked as a PM commissioner advising on economic policy issues.
Viktor Orbán did not exclude that former chief of staff János Lázár returns to his government after the elections. Népszava says that the prime minister will form a new ministry for Lázár covering agriculture, food industry developments, and retail.
The Ministry of Human Resources (EMMI) will probably not remain intact. Minister Miklós Kásler (72) is expected to retire.
Rumour has it that Miklós Szócska might become the minister responsible for healthcare, but he refused to reply to Népszava’s inquiries. Other sources say that healthcare will be merged with the Ministry of Interior as it was in practice during the epidemic when Sándor Pintér made the crucial decisions. For example, he ordered the reform plans of the sector from the Boston Consulting Group. Furthermore, doctors can thank Pintér for their significant wage rise during the epidemic.
Balázs Hankó will be responsible for higher education. However, the minister for innovation and technology László Palkovics would also like to maintain his influence on the sector.