Hungarian parliament initiates vote of no confidence in PM

Hungarian parliament initiates vote of no confidence in PM Budapest - Hungary's parliament on Tuesday initiated a constructive vote of no confidence against Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany.

The motion, signed by 92 members of parliament, calls for the replacement of Gyurcsany with current Economy Minister Gordon Bajnai.

Subject to approval by a parliamentary committee, the vote should be held on April 14.

The move is in line with a plan announced by Gyurcsany himself at a party conference on March 21.

Acknowledging that his unpopularity had made him an obstacle to reform, Gyurcsany said he would step aside to make way for an interim government to tackle Hungary's deepening financial crisis.

Bajnai, a wealthy businessman, was nominated following nine days of negotiations between the Socialists and the small liberal opposition Free Democrats party.

The Socialists, currently a few seats short of a majority, will need the support of their former coalition partner to vote in a replacement prime minister and avoid early general elections.

Bajnai has already revealed that he intends to place non-party experts in key cabinet positions if and when he is installed as prime minister on April 14.

His package of proposed crisis measures includes drastic cuts to public spending in sensitive areas such as pensions and public sector pay.

Hungary's largest opposition group, the centre-right Fidesz party, has already labelled the proposed interim government as "illegitimate" and is calling for elections to be brought forward from spring 2010.(dpa)