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HUNGARIANS APPROVE END TO 1-PARTY RULE

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Parliament Wednesday overwhelmingly approved constitutional amendments that are to transform Communist Hungary into a multiparty democracy.

Among the 94 changes passed by the 380-member Parliament were amendments eliminating all references to the leading role of the newly dissolved Communist Party. Justice Minister Kalman Kulcsar said they effectively end one-party rule in the East bloc nation.The country's formal name also was changed from People's Republic of Hungary to Republic of Hungary to reflect a break with the communist past.

Another change in the 1949 Constitution abolishes the 21-person collective presidency and replaces it with the office of the president.

The powers of president, who also is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, will be temporarily assumed by Parliament Speaker Matyas Szueros until democratic elections are held next year.

One amendment states that "political parties may be freely established and may freely function providing that they respect the Constitution and the laws."

Another declares that the "leading role of the Marxist-Leninist party of the working class . . . has been outdated."

The historic voting came on the heels of another landmark decision - the dissolution last week of the Communist Party and its replacement by the Hungarian Socialist Party.

Unlike its monolithic, Marxist-Leninist predecessor, the new party created last week professes commitment to multi-party democracy and market forces in the economy.

The actions are the latest in Hungary's dizzying moves in the past year to break with its socialist past by establishing democratic economic and social reforms and improve ties to the West. Like Poland, Hungary's rush to reform has created friction with hard-line Warsaw Pact allies.