An estimated 25,000 demonstrators gathered on Heroes' Square in Budapest on Sunday afternoon at the call of more than 500 civil groups to demand the dissolution of Parliament and early elections.
According to reports of the Hungarian News Agency, the demonstrators read out a petition, which, apart from early elections, demanded "transparency in public affairs, efforts for public safety, respect for national symbols, appreciation of families and their commitment to raise children as well as protection for the Hungarian homeland."
The petition was then sent to the office of President Laszlo Solyom in the Castle District by a delegation on motorbikes.
Speakers at the Heroes' Square called for efforts to prevent Parliament from electing Gordon Bajnai, the Socialist Party's prime minister candidate, saying that both Bajnai and outgoing Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany were "responsible for destroying the country."
"If this protest makes no impact, we will stage further demonstrations to press for early elections," one of the organizers, renowned architect Imre Makovecz, said.
Late afternoon, several thousand demonstrators left Heroes' Square to walk over to Parliament. Many of them carried the red and white stripes of radical nationalism, breaking through a police cordon in Andrassy Avenue, which connects Heroes' Square and the city center.
On the same day, Hungary's governing Socialist Party's extraordinary congress elected Economy Minister Gordon Bajnai as prime minister candidate.
On March 21, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany announced he would initiate a constructive no-confidence motion against himself in Parliament and propose nominating a new prime minister to head a new government. The motion is expected to be submitted to Parliament on April 6 and Parliament will vote on it on April 14. If Parliament passes the motion, which requires a simple majority of 193 votes, the prime minister candidate is elected as the new prime minister.