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Public Papers - 1989 - October

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on Political Reform in Hungary

1989-10-19

Yesterday the Hungarian Parliament passed a series of constitutional amendments that mark a further dramatic step toward democratic change. These amendments provide for free and open elections and guarantee the freedoms of speech, assembly, and worship enshrined in our own Bill of Rights. Indeed, Hungarian legislators and scholars visited the United States several times to study the American Constitution and Bill of Rights, which they saw as models for their own constitution.

These changes signify an historic break from the one-party state toward multiparty democracy, symbolized by the alteration of the country's official name from the Hungarian People's Republic to the Republic of Hungary. The United States welcomes these new steps, undertaken peacefully and through parliamentary means, and we take pride in the fact that in this bicentennial year of the Bill of Rights, that living document has helped inspire democracy in Hungary. We are inspired that the idea of freedom is putting down new roots in Eastern Europe and pledge our continued strong support for this historic process.

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