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Budapest Mayor’s Speech Disturbed by Rabbit-Masked Opposition Activists

Péter Cseresnyés 2019.09.25.

Fidesz-supported Budapest mayoral candidate István Tarlós’ speech was disturbed by rabbit-masked opposition activists who tried to instigate the incumbent mayor to partake in a debate against his main rival mayoral candidate, Gergely Karácsony.

During a conference organized by pro-Fidesz institute Századvég, activists from opposition party Párbeszéd Magyarországért (Dialogue for Hungary) unexpectedly disrupted István Tarlós’ speech and wanted to persuade the mayor to fill out a form where he declares his willingness to partake in a debate with Párbeszéd co-chair and joint leftist-liberal opposition candidate for Budapest mayor, Gergely Karácsony. The rabbit masks worn by some of them referred to Tarlós being too timid (in Hungarian culture, being a rabbit means the same as being a chicken in English) to have a debate with his rival.

The campaign action didn’t sit well with the audience: some of them even tried to remove the masks off of the activists.

As the 2019 municipal elections are just weeks ahead, these political moves have become almost everyday occurrences.

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Gergely Karácsony’s appearances were interrupted several times with the characteristic melody of Julius Fučík’s Entry of the Gladiators (which became a symbol for circuses). The song refers to the Fidesz youth organization’s campaign slogan “Budapest is not a circus” concerning the alleged incapability of the mayoral candidates, besides Tarlós.

Last week a truck stopped near Karácsony’s press conferences in front of Átrium theater, playing the loud circus march. On Sunday, the same music came from a motorboat interrupting the candidate’s speech during his program presentation.

Earlier, Bence Tordai, Párbeszéd’s spokesman, had disturbed István Tarlós’s press conference, where the mayor took a megaphone and told him only inches away from him why there would be no mayoral debate.

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