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Commission to investigate PM’s past as counterintelligence officer

President Ferenc Madl issued a statement on Monday expressing the hope that the creation of a parliamentary commission will allow for an investigation into the domestic, foreign-policy, and moral impact of the revelation that Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy served as a counterintelligence officer during the communist era, according to local media reports. "This is a pressing task for Hungary, a NATO member, as it proceeds toward the EU," the statement said.

Madl noted that Medgyessy had never informed him of his past in espionage. Most newspapers interpreted the statement as an indication that the constitution does not empower the president to intervene, as the prime minister has the confidence of the majority of parliament. However, FIDESZ Chairman Zoltan Pokorni told reporters that Madl has withdrawn his moral support for Medgyessy and has made it clear that the moral responsibility for keeping Medgyessy in power rests with the governing coalition.

(NewsBase 04.vii.02)

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