Former Hungarian finance minister says no to prime minister's job

Former Hungarian finance minister says no to prime minister's job Budapest - Former Hungarian finance minister Lajos Bokros said Saturday that he was not prepared to accept the job of Hungarian prime minister.

"I am insulted by the notion that I would lend my reputation and credibility to a programme in whose success I have no faith," Bokros said

The economics professor was speaking at the opening of the European Parliament election campaign of the Hungarian Democratic Forum, a minor conservative opposition party for which he is standing.

Bokros' move once again throws into doubt the governing Socialist Party's plan to avoid early elections by setting up an interim crisis government.

Speculation has been rife over who will replace the incumbent Ferenc Gyurcsany ever since Gyurcsany announced March 21 that he would make way for a new government with a new leader.

The Socialists are a few seats short of a majority and need the support of the liberal Free Democrats, a small opposition party.

On Friday, the Free Democrats' leader, Gabor Fodor, told the Socialists that Bokros was the only potential nominee acceptable to them.

The centre-right opposition party Fidesz is demanding early general elections, which opinion polls suggest it would win easily. (dpa)