This time, in response to the second challenge by the opposition alliance’s candidate for prime minister, Péter Márki-Zay, the parliamentary state secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office shared Fidesz’s reasoning as to why they are opposed to a debate between the two prime-ministerial candidates with the best chances of winning the election. Csaba Dömötör once again repeated that in their view, it is former Socialist PM Ferenc Gyurcsány “who sets the pace of the opposition.”
“There is always a chance, but the main question is under what circumstances we are asking this question, and the basic circumstance is that in this case, Péter Márki-Zay has no political-organizational hinterland,” he said during a podcast with Faith Church-linked Hetek weekly.
According to Dömötör, the essential question is “who sets the pace on the left?”. He says that in a democracy, this can be deduced that it is whomever has the largest parliamentary group within the opposition coalition after the elections. Since negotiations were being conducted out in the open, it is known that the Democratic Coalition [led by former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány] is going to have the largest faction, he argued.
He then explained why Orbán should not face Gyurcsány either, arguing that “a debate with Ferenc Gyurcsány would only make sense if we didn’t have the experience that he would tell blatant lies during a debate.” (Dömötör referred to the 2006 debate between the two after which Gyurcsány won the elections, although it turned out that many things he said were untrue. In his Őszöd speech, leaked months later, he admitted to having misled the public).
According to Dömötör, voters may have the knowledge about the governing party’s stances on important issues anyway, and the ruling alliance’s politicians are used to participating in debates.
As we previously reported, Péter Márki-Zay first challenged Viktor Orbán last Sunday. Fidesz’s communications director, however, responded by repeating one of Fidesz’s campaign slogans that states that Márki-Zay is only Gyurcsány’s puppet, “and there is no point in debating with an employee.” (Although it was Hollik himself during the opposition primaries who dismissed the possibility of Márki-Zay winning the race, because “he is not Gyurcsány’s man,” and Márki-Zay eventually won against Gyurcsány’s wife in the final during the primaries).
On Tuesday, the Hódmezővásárhely mayor once again challenged Orbán and slammed Hollik, arguing that with his line of thinking, instead of Orbán, he should challenge the Chinese Communists or Russian president Putin instead.
featured image via MTI/Facebook