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Hungarian Press Roundup: Opposition Parties to Run United in 2022

Hungary Today 2020.08.31.

Analysts from left and right believe equally that, for the first time in 10 years, the possibility of an opposition victory cannot be discounted.

Hungarian press roundup by budapost.eu

In Jelen, left-wing political analyst Zoltán Lakner welcomes the decision of the opposition parties to run with single candidates in each of the 106 constituencies in 2022. Nevertheless, he believes further conditions for an opposition victory are still lacking. First of all, no prime ministerial candidate is visible. Secondly, rejecting the incumbent government for its poor record on upholding the rule of law or its alleged corruption, would only mobilise ‘a very small segment’ of the population. Wide-ranging promises of a better life, from healthcare to education and increased welfare spending, would be required, he suggests. Even that would still be insufficient, Lakner continues, because the government’s supporters represent about one-third of the population. The opposition in its present state, therefore, could only erode the parliamentary majority of the government side, without unseating it, he believes. Unless, he adds, the opposition parties manage to convince the electorate that the country is facing a deep crisis that the government is unable to tackle.

In Demokrata, László Szentesi Zöldi also believes that the united opposition has better chances to win the elections than any time over the past three legislative terms. He cautions the government side against tolerating what he calls ‘dirty matters’, like the sex scandal of the former Fidesz Mayor of Győr, as such morally harmful cases might ‘paralyse the government side’. One difficulty he sees on the opposition side is the presence of Jobbik whose potential candidates may be found guilty of racist remarks in the past as happened with the single opposition candidate at the approaching Szerencs by-election. Szentesi Zöldi thinks the opposition wants to prevent such blunders by holding primaries, but those might result in victories for the two strongest parties in their alliance, namely the Democratic Coalition and Momentum. He predicts however that in that case, the smaller parties will accept the sacrifice. He recommends the government keep their eyes on Momentum as the main adversary, because what he calls this young liberal ‘terror squad’ is getting stronger by the day. He thinks therefore that it is a mistake on the part of government supporters to concentrate their venom on former prime minister and DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány.

Featured photo illustration by Tamás Sóki/MTI