Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány announced his new cabinet on Friday. A number of ministries have been combined or redefined so that there are now 12 portfolios instead of 17 previously.
János Veres will stay on as Finance Minister, as expected. Socialist party chairman István Hiller takes over as Minister of Culture and Education. György Szilvásy, a close confident and advisor of Gyurcsány, will head the Prime Minister's Office. His predecessor, Péter Kiss, takes the helm at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. János Kóka, one of three liberal SzDSz MPs with government portfolios, keeps his job at the Economy and Transport Ministry. The other two SzDSz ministers are Miklós Persányi, who stays on at the Ministry of Environment and Water Management, and Lajos Molnár, a strong reformer, who is to lead the Health Ministry.
In a surprise move, Gyurcsány appointed former Equal Opportunities Minister Kinga Göncz, whose ministry has been abolished, as Foreign Minister. She takes over from Ferenc Somogyi. Imre Szekeres is the new Defense Minister, taking over from Ferenc Juhász. József Graf stays on at the Agriculture Ministry, while Mónika Lamperth has been appointed Minister of Local Governments and the Regions. Her old ministry, the Interior Ministry, has been scrapped. József Petrétei will run the Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement.
The nominated ministers will be officially confirmed by parliament next week, which is expected to be a formality.