Four Budapest seats held by-elections on Sunday, with three electing candidates from the governing party and one from the opposition, the National Election Office (NVI) reported late on Sunday.
Gergő Nagy of the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrats party alliance (KDNP), received more than 70% of the vote in Budapest’s 5th district, defeating Benjámin Fábian, the joint candidate of the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK), Momentum, LMP, and the Socialists, who received 27% of the vote.
András Ripka of Fidesz-KDNP defeated Kenim Martin Jenei of the DK, Jobbik, Socialists, LMP, and Párbeszéd in the 7th district with 45% of the vote. (Jenei received 28 percent).
Judit Gondos of the Fidesz-KDNP won the 8th district with 63 percent of the vote, followed by László Pityó of the opposition DK, Jobbik, Momentum, the Socialists, and LMP with 35 percent.
The candidate of the DK, LMP, Momentum, Jobbik, Socialist, and Párbeszed parties, László Vasvári, won the 4th district with more over 47% of the vote, while Fruzsina Drabant of the Fidesz-KDNP received 40%.
In addition to Budapest, elections were also held in many other municipalities across the country on Sunday. These were mainly by-elections that had to be delayed during the state-of-emergency that came into effect in Hungary on November 4, 2020 due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Five elections were held in towns with county rights, three of which were won by Fidesz and two by local civil organizations. In smaller towns, Fidesz won six seats, independent candidates won two seats, while the opposition managed to secure only one seat.
Budapest Mayor Karácsony: Opposition voters sent a message
“This is a disappointing result, it would be a mistake to deny it,” Gergely Karácsony, the opposition mayor of Budapest, summed up the results of Sunday’s by-elections on Facebook.
“In Budapest, voter turnout remained below 20 percent in two districts, and in the other two districts, it was only a touch higher. […] by staying away, opposition voters punished the opposition parties for their performance since April 3rd [the parliamentary elections],” Karácsony said.
Referring to the post-election wrangling within and between opposition parties, the politician argued that opposition voters have sent a clear message that the opposition’s attitude of “if we can’t defeat Fidesz, let’s defeat each other” is going nowhere.
Fidesz group leader: Two-thirds Fidesz victory in 8th district
András Pikó and his allies suffered a crushing defeat in the by-election in [8th district] Józsefváros, our candidate Judit Gondos won two-thirds of the vote, commented Máté Kocsis, the parliamentary group leader of Fidesz, in a Facebook post.
Kocsis, a former mayor of the district, underscored that the DK candidate, supported by all left-wing parties and Mayor Karácsony, received barely a third of the votes.
“Today, the people living here have clearly expressed their opinion about the scandalous and unsuccessful policies of the past two and a half years, the lies of Pikó, the destruction of the district,” reacted Máté Kocsis to the results.
Featured photo illustration by Tamás Vasvári/MTI