The two main Hungarian left-wing parties, the Socialist Party (MSZP) and the Democratic Coalition (DK) have agreed on coordinated nominations in all the 106 individual constituencies for the 2018 general elections, leaders of the two opposition parties announced.
Socialist leader Gyula Molnár said at a joint press conference with DK chief Ferenc Gyurcsány his party would field a candidate in 60 constituencies and DK in 46. He confirmed that the Socialists’ PM candidate would be Gergely Karácsony, co-leader of the Párbeszéd party.
DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány said his party had pursued a “predictable, reliable and clear” policy over the past few months. He confirmed that DK would enter a separate party list for the election, one that would be topped by him. DK does not support any PM candidate featuring on another party’s list, Gyurcsány said.
Both leaders said they wished all democratic opposition parties to agree on a single candidate in each constituency. Molnár said the Socialists are open to cooperating with other democratic partners, too. The two parties’ agreement on dividing the constituencies was based on the results of recent polls. “I think we have concluded a correct and fair deal,” he said.
In response to a question, Molnár said he saw no reason for opening towards the radical nationalist Jobbik party and no chance for any cooperation or coordination with it. Asked why DK rejected a joint list with the Socialists, Gyurcsány said that “an independent list will probably bring more votes than a joint one.” “The democratic alternative to [Prime Minister Viktor] Orbán is not a single-coloured alternative,” he added.
Asked if he is still nurturing prime ministerial ambitions, Gyurcsány said, “that situation might still arise, I’m still very young, in a good shape. I would not like to rid the right wing of the risk of facing me as a challenger.”
Opposition Együtt welcomed the agreement as an important step towards toppling the Fidesz government. Együtt has proposed such an alliance from the beginning, the party said in a statement, adding that it has sent letters to Molnár and Gyurcsány saying they were ready to agree on cooperation before the Christmas holidays.
Commenting on the announcement, ruling Fidesz said that the true leader of the left wing is still Gyurcsány. “It is Gyurcsány whose interests prevail, who dictates the pace and selects the players,” Balázs Hidvéghi, the party’s press chief, told MTI. “Those who have once ruined the country want to come to power again,” he said.
via hungarymatters.hu and MTI; photos: Zoltán Balogh – MTI