Attila Mesterházy announced that he will be running for the position of Chairman of MSZP (Hungarian Socialist Party), challenging incumbent president Bertalan Tóth.
The popularity of the Socialist party has hit rock bottom, with recent surveys casting doubt on whether MSZP will even be able to pass the parliamentary threshold of 5 percent. However, with the opposition parties recently announcing that they will join forces for the 2022 general election, some Socialist politicians can take their seats in the next assembly for granted.
Mesterházy is also a vocal supporter of the joint opposition party list and fielding joint candidates in the electoral districts. However, after the failures of the past years and the decline in popularity of his party, he also highlighted the importance of widening MSZP’s supporter base (which would be important not only for the joint opposition in 2022, but also to improve MSZP’s negotiating position when it comes to determining the join list places and districts).
Mesterházy, who is currently the chair of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, previously held the chairmanship of MSZP from 2010-2014, and he was even the joint prime ministerial candidate of the leftist parties in 2014. He did not resign as a result of the loss of that election, only later, following the loss of the EP elections in the same year.
In 2018, he once again ran to be chairman of the party, but lost to Bertalan Tóth by a vote of 54:46.
Mesterházy says that ever since he stepped down as president, many have asked him to run again for the leadership of the party.
MSZP will hold its electoral congress on the 19th of September, during which the party will switch to a co-chair system, meaning that both a male and a female chair will be elected. Bertalan Tóth has already announced that he will run for the post again, with Ágnes Kunhalmi as his running mate.
Featured photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI