Hungarian president says early elections best solution

Hungarian president says early elections best solution Budapest - Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom on Wednesday joined the call for early general elections in Hungary.

The EU country has been in a state of political turmoil since Saturday, when Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany announced he would stand down to make way for a new government.

Solyom told state television on Wednesday that only early elections can bring about a stable Hungarian government with the necessary power to act.

Rather than call such an election, Gyurcsany's Socialist Party on Tuesday nominated three external candidates for a prime ministerial replacement.

The government, which is a few seats short of a majority, is counting on one of them gaining the support of minor opposition parties and being endorsed by parliament.

According to the prime minister's plan, a replacement will be chosen on April 14 following a self-initiated constructive vote of no confidence in Gyurcsany himself.

The president, whose role is largely ceremonial, described this plan to deal with Hungary worsening economic crisis as a merely temporary measure.

"This approach, of all the possible means available, is the least democratic," Solyom said.

In this, he agrees with the country's only major opposition party. The centre-right Fidesz, which is refusing to cooperate in the government plan, is demanding early elections.

Fidesz has held a commanding lead in opinion polls since mid-2006, during which the government has been forced to implement a series of drastic austerity measures after years of heavy spending.

Hungary's next general election is scheduled for April 2010. (dpa)