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Hungarian Socialists Lose Big in Local Elections

Hungarian Socialists suffered heavy losses in local elections Sunday in the wake of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany's admission that he lied to voters to keep power.

With most of the votes counted, preliminary results show the opposition Fidesz party winning majorities in 18 of 19 county councils and the mayor's office in most of the 23 biggest cities.

But results from Budapest show the pro-Socialist local government will keep power in the capital.

Mr. Gyurcsany has said he will not resign and promised to carry out economic reforms aimed at slashing Hungary's huge budget deficit - the biggest in the European Union.

Thousands of Hungarians and the opposition conservatives have demanded the prime minister step down since he was heard on a leaked audiotape recorded earlier this year saying his government lied about the state of the economy.

The remarks set off several days of demonstrations and riots in Budapest that left more than 200 people injured.

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