File photo taken on 9 March, 2008 shows Hungary's Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany speaking during a news conference in Budapest. Gyurcsany tendered his resignation as chairman of the minority governing Socialist Party on March 28, 2009, Hungarian News Agency MTI reported. (Xinhua/Yang Yongqian)
BUDAPEST, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Hungary's Prime
Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany tendered his resignation as chairman of the minority
governing Socialist Party (MSZP) on Saturday.
Hungarian News Agency MTI reported that Gyurcsany
confirmed hisresignation to MTI as he left the presidium meeting and said that
the party would elect a new chairman at its congress next week. Gyurcsany
refused to answer a question whether the party would nominate Economy Minister
Gordon Bajnai as his successor.
The party's parliamentary group started a meeting to
find a prime minister candidate.
Earlier in the day, the party spokesman Istvan Nyako
said the outgoing prime minister did not want the posts of the prime minister
and the Socialist Party chairman to be held by two separate persons. He quoted
Gyurcsany as saying that "if a prime minister comes from a party he should also
hold the party leadership."
The Socialist Party had a presidium meeting on
Saturday, and the presidium met regional party leaders on Saturday afternoon to
review the situation about the prime minister candidate.
Local media reports said the party delegates
discussed the possibility of Farm Minister Jozsef Graf taking over from
Gyurcsany as party leader and perhaps even as prime minister.
The spokesman said the Socialists had acknowledged
that former Finance Minister Lajos Bokros, who was suggested as a prime minister
candidate by both the small conservative Democratic Forumand liberal SZDSZ, had
declined to be nominated.
Last Saturday, Gyurcsany said he would initiate a
constructive no-confidence vote against himself. He also proposed nominating a
new premier to head a new government. On the same day, the Socialist Party
re-elected Gyurcsany as party chairman at its congress.