Hungary's main political parties have commemorated the brief anti-Soviet revolution of 1956 while focusing on next year's parliamentary elections.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday urged his populist Fidesz party to "start up the machinery and get our forces ready for battle" to defend its landslide victory of 2010. Orban criticized the opposition Socialist Party for its ties to the communist system which collapsed in 1990, claiming the Socialists would again "hand over Hungary to the colonizers."

The Socialists and several smaller left-wing groups held their own 1956 memorial. Speakers called for unity as the key to defeating Orban, whose party leads in polls ahead of elections in April or May.

Wednesday was the anniversary of the start of the popular uprising, which was swiftly crushed by Soviet forces.