BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Former Hungarian Finance Minister Lajos Bokros has rejected a proposal that he become prime minister, leaving political parties at an impasse in their search for a new national leader.
Bokros was put forward on Friday as replacement for Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany by the Free Democrats, whose votes the ruling Socialists need for a majority in parliament.
But Bokros said the Socialists had already rejected his new proposals for measures to tackle the global crisis which forced Hungary late last year to resort to a $25.1 billion IMF-led aid package.
“The idea that I will give my reputation and credit to a (Socialist) program, the success of which I don’t trust, is an offence” he was quoted as saying by the national news agency
He was unwilling even to consider accepting the offer to take the prime minister’s post, he said.
Socialist leaders were meeting on Saturday to try to break the impasse after a week of unsuccessful talks with the Free Democrats to find a replacement to Gyurcsany.
The country’s politics were thrown into turmoil on March 21 when Gyurcsany, struggling with low popularity and a deepening economic crisis, announced that he would step down and hand over power in early April.
The Socialists have already proposed several candidates to replace Gyurcsany, including former central bank governor Gyorgy Suranyi, economist Andras Vertes and historian Ferenc Glatz, but all were either rejected by the Free Democrats or withdrew their names from contention.
Reporting by Sandor Peto/Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Angus MacSwan