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Budapest Mayoral Candidate Karácsony Calls for the Resignation of Minister

Péter Cseresnyés 2019.09.19.

Recently, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office, said several times that the agreement – which contains generous central government funding – signed by Viktor Orbán and István Tarlós, would lapse if someone not supported by Fidesz would win the election in Budapest. Many have been criticizing the minister’s statements because they believe such an agreement is unlawful and the government is essentially blackmailing the people to vote for a candidate supported by Fidesz. The joint opposition mayoral candidate, Gergely Karácsony, called on the minister in an open letter to take “political, legal and human responsibility” for blackmailing the people of Budapest.

Minister of the PM’s Office, Gergely Gulyás told news radio InfoRádió that Viktor Orbán had made a “special agreement” with István Tarlós a year ago. According to Gulyás, the 15-point agreement – including promised developments and increased financial support to Budapest and guaranteeing Budapest’s municipal independence –  “is a political and not a public law agreement, so in this sense, it is valid only between them.”

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Answering journalists’ questions considering the possible cooperation between the Orbán government and an opposition Budapest mayor (if Tarlós loses the vote) during one of his regular press briefings, the minister said that cooperation is needed between the prevailing Budapest mayor and the government. Therefore, the Orbán government signed an agreement with incumbent Budapest Mayor István Tarlós who is a suitable politician to lead the capital because he seeks cooperation with the government. However, opposition candidate Gergely Karácsony is unfit for the position, Gulyás says, because, in his opinion, Karácsony himself rejects the cooperation and sees Budapest as a potential opposition position.

For these statements, Gergely Karácsony later filed a complaint to the Budapest Election Committee against the government for illegal campaigning and violating the purity of the election.

Later Karácsony also wrote an open letter to the head of the Prime Minister’s Office.

In this, the joint opposition mayoral candidate writes that the Minister has repeatedly blackmailed the people of Budapest, threatening them if they do not vote for the “Fidesz puppet,” then the agreement between the Prime Minister and the mayor will be invalid.

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“Together with Viktor Orbán and István Tarlós, you think that you can sign private contracts involving the lives of the people of Budapest as if the capital of the nation were privately owned by the prime minister and the Fidesz governors” Karácsony adds.

In his view, the Minister must also take political, legal and human responsibility for the blackmail, calling for an apology and resignation.

The mayoral candidate also points out that the Minister criticized the European Union precisely because he thinks it is unacceptable to allocate funds based on political sympathy. This is also unacceptable for the people of Budapest, so Gulyás should not change his opinion in the interest of power.

Featured photo via Gergely Karácsony’s Facebook page