President: Janos Ader
A lawyer and member of the European Parliament for Hungary's governing Fidesz party, Janos Ader was elected President of Hungary in a parliamentary vote boycotted by the main opposition Socialist Party. The far-right Jobbik party voted against him, but the large Fidesz majority guaranteed his win.
Mr Ader took over from Pal Schmitt, another Fidesz loyalist who had to resign in April after an Hungarian magazine revealed that his 1992 doctoral thesis was largely plagiarism.
The new president, born in 1959, was a co-founder of Fidesz and took part in the talks that brought an end to Communist rule. He served as an MP in 1990-2009 and was speaker of parliament in 1998-2002.
Mr Ader has pledged to make full use of his powers, which some Hungarian commentators have taken to mean that he will scrutinise proposed laws more carefully than did his predecessor.
He is nonetheless closely associated with the controversial policies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and helped draft changes to election laws and the role of the judiciary that prompted complaints from the European Commission.
Prime minister: Viktor Orban
Mr Orban, whose right-wing Fidesz party won a two-thirds majority in parliament in April 2010, had previously served as prime minister from 1998 to 2002.
Fidesz's landslide election victory has allowed it to push through a number of radical legislative changes.
On coming to power, Mr Orban promised firm but moderate government, and sought to distance Fidesz from the far-right Jobbik party, which entered parliament for the first time.
Fidesz pledged to cut taxes, curb tax evasion, create jobs and reduce state bureaucracy. Mr Orban made an immediate start by pruning the number of ministries to eight - leaving him with the smallest cabinet in the post-communist era.
His biggest challenge was posed by Hungary's severe public debt problem, and he proceeded to tackle this with what the government itself describes as an "unorthodox" economic policy.
This policy includes high taxes on banks and multinationals, the nationalisation of private pension funds and frequent verbal attacks on the IMF and European Union.
Mr Orban's government also took steps to curb the independence of the Hungarian National Bank.Tense relations with IMF, EU
Mr Orban's dealings with international financial institutions have been fraught with tension. He initially ruled out renewing the IMF-led loan that rescued Hungary from financial collapse in 2008, to avoid giving the organisation too much say over his government's economic policy.
Hungary reopened talks with the IMF in November 2011 with the aim of securing a credit lifeline. The IMF cut short these talks after only a few weeks, citing concerns over the independence of the Hungarian National Bank.
Hungary agreed to make some changes to the central bank law in April 2012, and the European Commission said that this would allow negotiations over a 15bn-euro (£12bn) bailout package with the IMF to resume.
However, in September 2012 Mr Orban rejected the terms of the IMF loan, saying that these were not in Hungary's interests and that his government would come up with alternative proposals.
The following month, in a speech delivered on the anniversary of the failed 1956 revolution, Mr Orban criticised the EU for interfering in Hungary's domestic affairs.
He maintains that his government's radical policies have prevented the Hungarian economy from collapsing and have reduced the country's debt.
And indeed, Hungary's success in bringing its budget deficit down to below the permitted EU threshold of 3% and the country's emergence from recession in early 2013 appeared to indicate that these policies had had the desired effect.
However, some of Mr Orban's more populist economic policies - for example, a move to make foreign-owned banks bear the consequences of Hungarian borrowers' inability to pay back loans denominated in foreign currencies - have encountered domestic opposition. In December 2013, the Hungarian Supreme Court blocked the government's attempt to make the banks shoulder the losses on such loans, which many Hungarians took out before the 2008 financial crisis.Democratic concerns
On the political front, a media law introduced in January 2011 was widely criticised at home and abroad for undermining media freedoms. The EU said that amendments to the media law passed in May 2012 failed to address concerns over the political independence of Hungary's Media Authority, and it called on the Hungarian government to do more to ensure media pluralism.
At the beginning of 2012, Mr Orban's government introduced a new constitution to replace the one drafted in 1989, when Hungary was emerging from 40 years of communist rule. Mr Orban insists that a new constitution was necessary in order to complete the work of eradicating the legacy of communism, but critics point out that some of the checks and balances that are essential for the functioning of a democracy have been removed, and that the state apparatus is now permanently tilted in favour of the current ruling party.
The Fidesz government has also been criticised for its failure to combat right-wing extremism and hate speech, after little was done to prevent members of the far-right Jobbik party from making inflammatory anti-Roma and anti-Jewish comments.
The next parliamentary election, scheduled for 6 April 2014, is widely being seen as a test of the extent to which the Hungarian electorate approves of Mr Orban's populist policies, or whether charges of the erosion of democracy and an increasingly polarised society under Fidesz will play to the advantage of the left-of-centre opposition.