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Béla Pásztor: Meet The Record-Breaking Hungarian Mayor Celebrating Fifty Years Leading Budapest Suburb


A former Communist municipal leader who is officially the longest-standing mayor in the country and possibly one of the world’s municipal leaders with the longest history in the profession is celebrating fifty years at the head of the town of Veresegyház, a town to the northeast of Budapest favoured by commuters to the capital, after being reelected with a landslide victory in 2014.

The 77-year-old became chairman of the local council on 1 September 1965, at the age of 27. Serving twenty-five years in that position, Mr. Pásztor survived the transition to democracy and has been independent mayor of the 17 000-inhabitant settlement, which over the years has developed spectacularly into a sought-after suburb some thirty kilometres from Budapest.

The mayor, whose son leads the next-door town of Erdőkertes, made newspaper headlines in 2013, when he was cleared of embezzlement by a Budapest court in a major blow to the prosecutor’s office after it was found that the town’s finances actually benefited from the dealings in question rather than suffering harm from them. The following year, he was reelected as mayor with 87.2 per cent of votes.

photo: Balázs Markovics/