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Hungary Country in central Europe, bounded N by the Slovak Republic, NE by Ukraine, E by Romania, S by Yugoslavia and Croatia, and W by Austria and Slovenia.

• government
Under the terms of the `transitional constitution´ adopted Oct 1989, Hungary is a unitary state with a one-chamber, 386-member legislature, the national assembly (Orszaggyules). Its members are elected for four-year terms under a mixed system of proportional and direct representation: 176 are directly elected (on a potential two-ballot run-off basis) from local constituencies; 152 are from regional, county, and metropolitan lists on a proportional basis; and 58 are elected indirectly from party-nominated national `compensation´ lists designed to favour smaller parties. Free competition is allowed in these elections. The national assembly elects a president as head of state and chief executive for a maximum of two five-year terms, and a council of ministers (cabinet) headed by a prime minister. Since 1989 opposition parties have been able to register freely and receive partial state funding. A constitutional court has also been appointed to serve as a watchdog.

• history
Inhabited by Celts and Slavs, the region became a Roman province. After the Roman era it was overrun at the end of the 4th century AD by Germanic invaders and by Asians who established a Magyar kingdom in the late 9th century, under a chief named Árpád. St Stephen (ruled 997-1038) was Hungary's first king; he established a kingdom 1001 and converted the inhabitants to Christianity. After the Árpádian line died out, Hungary was ruled 1308-86 by the Angevins, and subsequently by other foreign princes.
Turkish rule
From 1396, successive rulers fought to keep out Turkish invaders but were finally defeated at Mohács 1526, and the south and centre of the country came under Turkish rule for 150 years, while the east was ruled by semi-independent Hungarian princes. By the end of the 17th century the Turks had been driven out by the Habsburgs, bringing Hungary under Austrian rule. After 1815 a national renaissance began, under the leadership of Louis Kossuth. The revolution of 1848-49 proclaimed a Hungarian republic and abolished serfdom, but Austria suppressed the revolt with Russian help.