Domestic Politics

Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán Poised To Win Another Term, Former Socialist Rival Says

Fidesz will probably win next year’s election but green party LMP leader Bernadett Szél could become a worthy opponent to Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s former Socialist Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy said in an interview with news portal index.hu.

According to Medgyessy, who beat Orbán in the 2002 election race to become Hungary’s Premier for two and a half years, it is very likely that ruling Fidesz will win the elections once again in 2017, the real question is „by what margin”. Although two-thirds majority is probably not in the cards, the conservative ruling parties still have a realistic chance to gain absolute majority in the Parliament, Medgyessy said. The left-wing opposition parties could prevent this scenario only if they worked out some sort of cooperation with fellow opposition but radical nationalist Jobbik party, he said.

Socialist candidate Péter Medgyessy and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán shake hands before their TV debate in the 2002 elections (source: YouTube)

Péter Medgyessy noted that Orbán enjoys wide support among Hungarian voters because he has a good sense for „what is really going on in the world.” He mentioned the Orbán government’s public work scheme and migration policies as examples, adding that unemployment and illegal migration both make people feel insecure, thus they seek protection. The former Socialist PM says he is not fond of the idea of building border fences to stop illegal immigration either, but admits he could have not come up with a better solution for the crisis if he were the Prime Minister today. However, it should have been made with more empathy towards refugees fleeing from war zones.

He added that the current Hungarian left-wing opposition is simply not able to represent a real alternative since the traditional leading force, the Socialist party (MSZP) is struggling and it has been mediocre in recent years. However, Hungary still needs a modern left-wing party, which cares for the people in need and for those who are discriminated in any ways in today’s society, Medgyessy insisted. He said he saw this potential in the green party LMP and its talented leader Bernadett Szél, because „she has an open-minded and engaging personality.” It would be very beneficial for Hungary to be governed by a female prime minister, he added.

LMP’s prime minister candidate Bernadett Szél is a worthy opponent to Viktor Orbán, according to Péter Medgyessy (photo: lmp.hu)

Although Péter Medgyessy says he is now expecting Viktor Orbán to win another term as Hungary’s Prime Minister next spring, he sees the forthcoming years much more unpredictable. New generations grow up in Hungary, they have a very different way of thinking, language and approach to politics than ours. Time will defeat Viktor Orbán’s government, not the opposition, Medgyessy concluded.

via index.hu; featured photo: mno.hu