Weekly newsletter

A left-wing and a conservative commentator agree that the opposition has lost the momentum it gained during the October primaries when it chose its candidates for Prime Minister and for the 106 individual electoral constituencies. A liberal commentator also thinks that growing distrust between the opposition parties is weakening their chances in the April Parliamentary election.

Hungarian press roundup by budapost.eu

On Hírklikk, Péter Németh (who was reinstated as editor of Népszava in November but continues to write for the left-wing news site as well) urges the opposition to come forward with a coherent program and launch its campaign for the parliamentary elections due in April. His sources tell him that the opposition expects its program to be ready by mid-January, but he believes that it will be too late because he senses a mood of resignation among opposition supporters after the euphoria surrounding the primaries. Many people, he writes, seem resigned again to the possibility that Fidesz cannot be beaten. Németh also invites front-runner Péter Márki-Zay to be more patient and refrain from reacting sharply to even the slightest statements by his allies that he finds inappropriate. (For Márki-Zay’s remarks on “traitors” within the opposition, see Budapost, December 27.)

In Demokrata, Gábor Bencsik takes it practically for granted that the opposition will lose the elections next April. He believes the discord among the opposition parties is the natural consequence of the extremely fragmented nature of their alliance. The six parties lack a common worldview, and it is only too natural that they struggle to find common grounds on various political issues, he suggests. In addition, their voters have chosen an outsider as a candidate for Prime Minister, who has not been socialized in the political world, seems stubborn and intolerant, and is thus simply unfit for the job of patiently coordinating the efforts and the views of the alliance he is supposed to lead. After the next elections, Bencsik predicts, a change will have to occur in the opposition, rather than in the government. He doubts however if a new opposition force will arise and successfully challenge Fidesz within the next decade.

In Telex, Marianna Biró offers an overview of the opposition alliance’s performance since the primaries. She contends that the Left has lost momentum, as internal disputes take a toll on their popularity. The liberal analyst recalls that according to a leaked poll commissioned by the opposition, Fidesz has increased its lead. Biró attributes the apparent weakening of the opposition to growing distrust among the leaders of the opposition parties. As an example, she mentions Péter Márki-Zay’s criticism of the opposition alliance. Among others, Márki-Zay complained that the opposition parties do not campaign actively enough, and went so far as to claim that some opposition politicians have betrayed him, and would prefer Viktor Orbán to remain in power. Márki-Zay also said that he would not rule out the possibility that the opposition parties will try to remove him and find another candidate for Prime Minister. Biro mentions another reason for the opposition’s perceived decline – porn tycoon György Gattyán’s recently announced bid.

Featured image: Péter Márki-Zay, the opposition’s joint candidate for prime minister (in the middle) and the opposition’s joint candidates for MPs at the commemoration ceremony of the opposition parties entitled “United for a free Hungary!” held on Andrássy Avenue on the 65th anniversary of the 1956 Revolution and War of Independence, 23 October 2021. Photo by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI