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Hungarian Press Roundup: Opposition Boycotts Anniversary Celebration of Regime Change

Hungary Today 2020.05.05.

A liberal philosopher accuses Fidesz of expropriating the 1990 regime change, while a pro-government analyst suggests that history will remember the opposition’s refusal to take part in a historic remembrance event.

Hungarian press roundup by budapost.eu

Background information: the opposition refused to attend the parliamentary session held on the 30th anniversary of the inaugural session of the first democratically elected National Assembly. Ferenc Gyurcsány, the leader of the Democratic Coalition accused Fidesz of having betrayed the ideal of the rule of law and said celebrating with them would have amounted to complicity.

Városi Kurír quotes a Facebook post by György Gábor who compares PM Orbán to the negative heroes of Ferenc Molnár’s famous novel The Paul Street Boys. Fidesz’s interpretation of the regime change and celebration of the anniversary on their own appears to him just as flawed as it would have been for the Red Shirts in Molnár’s novel to frame themselves as the defenders of the ‘grund’ (an empty lot, the Paul Street Boys considered their ‘homeland’ which they heroically defended against the violent Red Shirts). The philosopher, who is a passionate critic of the government, hopes a real estate developer will come and destroy ‘their grund based on theft and mendacity’.

On hirado.hu, on the other hand, political analyst Ágoston Sámuel Mráz (of Nézőpont Institute) criticized the opposition’s decision to boycott the session. Today’s divergences in politics, he writes, prove the vitality of the democracy introduced in 1990 when sharp open debates between government and opposition became part of the political norm. Since then, the pro-government analyst continued, the Left has progressively abandoned left-wing values and pledged allegiance to liberalism. Anyhow, he concludes, today’s opposition parties have left a negative imprint on history by refusing to commemorate the establishment of democracy together with their opponents.

Featured photo by Zoltán Máthé/MTI