József Pálinkás, Minister of Education during the first Orbán government and former President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, is joining the opposition primary as the prime ministerial candidate of his recently established New World People’s Party (ÚVNP), Magyar Hang reports.
The center-right ÚVNP was founded in October of last year. The party’s goal is a change of government and political direction in Hungary in 2022. During the opposition primaries, they want to address the “civic” side, disappointed Fidesz supporters, and undecided voters.
The New World People’s Party will also run candidates in the primaries, in 25-30 seats, mainly in Budapest and some larger cities.
“After several weeks of negotiations, it was decided last week that the candidates of the New World People’s Party, alongside those of the six-party coalition, can participate in the opposition primaries ahead of the 2022 parliamentary elections independently, representing their own party,” ÚVNP said in a statement.
Due to the current election law, Hungary’s six most significant opposition parties (Democratic Coalition, Jobbik, LMP, the Socialists, Momentum, and Párbeszéd) agreed at the end of last year to run on a joint list in the 2022 general elections. József Pálinkás’ new party now joins this alliance.
The opposition parties also struck a deal to run with joint candidates in all 106 individual districts, nominate a joint candidate for prime minister, and create a joint program. To find the best and most popular candidate, they want to jointly organize a primary election similar to that ahead of the 2019 local elections in Budapest.
With József Pálinkás joining, six candidates are now competing in the primaries due in the autumn, with Péter Márki-Zay, mayor of Hódmezővásárhely, Péter Jakab, president of Jobbik, Klára Dobrev, MEP of Democratic Coalition, András Fekete-Győr, leader of Momentum, and Gergely Karácsony, mayor of Budapest, having announced their candidacies.
Featured photo by Tibor Rosta/MTI