Ferenc Gyurcsány, the leader of the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK), called for continuing the fight until “there is a chance to turn the wheel of history”, in his address evaluating Hungary’s April 3 general election won by the ruling coalition in a landslide.
The democratic opposition “has suffered its biggest defeat of the past 30 years,” Gyurcsány told a party meeting on Saturday. He said that not only the parties of the united opposition but their desire for freedom, a European homeland, civic ideals, and a nation seeking future success had undoubtedly suffered a defeat last Sunday.
Analyzing the possible causes, Gyurcsány said that instead of two distinct frontlines, “the Orbán regime encircled and besieged the fairly diffuse network of the opposition”. The prime minister’s toolbox for “the siege” contained a state power monopolized by the ruling parties, an election law created to serve them, uneven financial and infrastructural resources of the ruling parties versus the opposition, and fully controlled information flow to the public typical only “in a dictatorship”.
He rejected proposals that opposition politicians should return their parliamentary mandates arguing that it would amount to “full surrender”. “We must stay together and preserve what the six parties have achieved in the past years,” Gyurcsány said.
He said that the opposition’s primaries had fulfilled their role to create unity among the several competing parties while failing in creating a massive camp “of active and committed supporters” all the way until the election.
As regards the selection of a joint prime ministerial candidate via the system of primaries, Gyurcsány said “choosing a right-wing candidate without any political party infrastructure was in fact giving up our self-identity”. “We committed suicide when choosing a candidate whose goal was ‘to replace’ the opposition which he should have led to victory,” Gyurcsány said.
Discussing future plans, Gyurcsány highlighted the importance of further strengthening the six parties’ political alliance by reinforcing its internal political and emotional cohesion. “We need a more united and better-organized opposition in the coming years,” he said.
After Sunday’s defeat, the task is “to go ahead and fight without making compromises, in a fair manner; and that’s what DK will do,” Gyurcsány said.
Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI