Press Roundup: First Round of Left-wing Budapest Mayoral Preliminary
Hungary Today 2019.02.06.
As the Párbeszéd candidate defeats the MSZP candidate in the first round of the Left’s Budapest mayoral preliminary election, both a left-wing and a pro-government columnist doubt whether the Left can defeat Fidesz in the capital.
Background information: On Sunday in the first round of the left-wing preliminary mayoral election, Párbeszéd’s Gergely Karácsony received more than 80 per cent of the total 34,000 votes cast, and defeated the MSZP’s Csaba Horváth. In the second round, Mr Karácsony will face the candidates of the LMP and the Liberals.
Népszava’s László Haskó finds both left-wing candidates too weak to unite the Left in Budapest. The left-wing columnist points out that the MSZP has been in decline for several years. To make things even worse, none of the candidates have a clear political program. Haskó thinks that even if the Left wins in Budapest, the mayor could do little to improve the city so long as Hungary is governed by Fidesz, which in Haskó’s view ignores the needs of the capital.
In Magyar Idők, Ádám Bakonyi agrees with the governing party that the first round of the Left’s Budapest mayoral preliminary was less than successful. The pro-government journalist points out that less than 2 per cent of all eligible Budapest voters participated in the Left’s preliminary. All this, Bakonyi suspects, indicates that the Left is unable to properly mobilize its supporters in the capital.