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Hungary-Basic Organizations

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A Basic Organization existed in every government institution, production unit, residential unit, and armed forces unit having three or more party members. In 1985 the party had 25,402 Basic Organizations, of which 37.2 percent were in government institutions or the armed forces, 30.2 percent in industrial enterprises, 15 percent in agricultural enterprises, and the remainder in residences scattered throughout the country.

The membership meeting had the highest authority in the Basic Organization. According to the Party Rules, membership meetings had to be held at least once every two months. The membership meeting elected a secretary, a deputy secretary, and a small bureau to administer the affairs of the Basic Organization. In Basic Organizations of fewer than ten members, the membership meeting elected only a secretary and a deputy secretary. Often the district organization nominated the secretaries as part of its nomenklatura authority. In the 1980s, however, competitive elections became more frequent. In 1985 one-third of the newly elected secretaries were newcomers to the position, and, compared with 1980, the number of multiple candidacies rose. Large Basic Organizations were divided into party groups, which elected a steward to direct their affairs. The party groups assessed the work and behavior of their members and the fulfillment of party tasks.

The Basic Organization performed several tasks. Most important, the Basic Organization implemented party decisions in the economic enterprise or other unit under its jurisdiction. The Basic Organization conducted agitation and propaganda to explain party policies to nonparty members, to inspire nonparty members to meet regime goals, and to encourage enthusiasm in the workplace. The Basic Organization admitted new members subject to the approval of the district party organization. The Basic Organization gave informal courses for party and nonparty members on ideology, party history, and current events. The Basic Organization controlled the activity of enterprise management to ensure the fulfillment of its economic plan. Finally, the party expected the Basic Organizations to be vigilant and to report activities within their jurisdiction that could be considered harmful or disloyal.

Data as of September 1989

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