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Hungary's Orban Steps Aside as PM Candidate

The leader of Hungary's center-right opposition, Viktor Orban, has abandoned his prime ministerial ambitions, and says he will support a candidate from a smaller, allied party in this month's second-round elections.

Orban heads Fidesz, the party that dominates the conservative sector of Hungary's political spectrum. He told reporters in Budapest Wednesday that his choice for prime minister - as yet unnamed - comes from the smaller Hungarian Democratic Forum.

Orban was prime minister in a coalition of Fidesz and the Hungarian Democratic Forum, or MDU that ruled Hungary from 1998-2002, but recent opinion polls and the results of Sunday's first-round elections indicate the country's Socialist government led by Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany is likely to remain in power.

The next round of voting, on April 23, will fill nearly half of the Hungarian Parliament's 386 seats.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.