Communist Party leaders have stripped former longtime party boss Janos Kadar of his last posts, saying the man who took over when the Soviets crushed a 1956 popular revolt is too ill to carry on.
The 76-year-old Kadar, replaced as Hungary's leader last year, was stripped by the party's governing Central Committee Monday of the post of honorary party president and his seat on the committee.The state news agency MTI said Kadar was retired "on the basis of information received" about his state of health.
But the action followed disclosure of Kadar's role in past political repressions and increasing public criticism of his failure to keep pushing reforms during his 32 years in power.
MTI said the Central Committee "addressed a written message" to Kadar, indicating he did not attend Monday's meeting, and that its contents would be published later.
Kadar had been replaced as party chief by Karoly Grosz, who is leading a slow transition to the politics of competing parties and who criticized the role Kadar played after Soviet forces crushed the 1956 popular revolt.
Kadar, who last month was said by officials to be so ill that he could not carry out his duties, has been seen rarely in public since losing the party to Grosz last May.
That shift ushered in a time of fast-paced reforms, with Communists who advocate greater democracy gradually gaining strength.