On Monday morning, László Botka, the Socialist Party’s (MSZP) candidate for Prime Minister, announced his resignation.
At a press conference, the mayor of the southern Hungarian city of Szeged said he had informed the party’s leaders as well as its allies that had backed his candidacy of his decision.
Explaining the reason for the withdrawal of his candidacy, Botka said he had “made a mistake”, because he did not think “that the democratic parties do not want to win in 2018” but rather “aim to win a few opposition seats in the Orbán regime’s parliament”.
Botka said that he had misjudged
how badly the political mafia has infested the democratic opposition, including, unfortunately, my own party as well.
The outgoing PM candidate also claimed that he had “underestimated Fidesz’s vileness, that they will not shrink from using any available tool to prevent that which is the greatest threat to their power: opposition unity.”
Socialist VP Ujhelyi Resigns Too
Shortly after news of Botka’s resignation began to spread, MSZP Vice President István Ujhelyi released a statement announcing his resignation from the party’s leadership as well.
In his press release, Ujhelyi said that he could no longer remain a party leader and “assume responsibility for the period about to come.” He described Botka’s ouster as a
putsch supported by the filthy tools of those in power, that has achieved its purpose: democratic forces have been utterly divided and broken.
Like Botka himself, the departing MSZP leader attributed the party’s PM-candidate’s downfall to the work of Fidesz. Ujhelyi claimed that, with today’s developments, it is clear that
Orbanistan has clearly worked its way into the ranks of the opposition, and has infiltrated its people into every viable movement.
Molnár Press Conference
Later in the morning, MSZP President Gyula Molnár held a press conference where he announced that the Socialists would not be looking for a new PM candidate from within the party.
While arguing that his party would “carry on” with its efforts, Molnár admitted that this was a very sad day for MSZP. He also said that Botka had resigned because the Szeged Mayor didn’t want further left-wing cooperation to be hindered due to him personally.
In the coming days, MSZP’s leaders will announce changes to the party’s election committee, and will contact other opposition parties, Molnár added. He also said that, in the near future, the Socialists will focus on individual districts.
At the end of his press conference, the MSZP President thanked Botka for his efforts as the party’s candidate for the prime ministry.
Via MTI, atv.hu, index.hu, mno.hu, and nepszava.hu
Images via MTI