Péter Márki-Zay, the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition alliance, urged Hungarians in a video message on Monday to “choose the West over the East” when they head to the polls on April 3.
Márki-Zay said on Facebook that this is the message he will be conveying to voters as he visits some 3,000 localities on the campaign trail in the coming days.
The mayor of Hódmezővásárhely urged voters to each persuade three more people to vote for the opposition on the first Sunday of April.
“The Orbán government had twelve years to use European Union resources to help Hungary catch up, but the challenge that is the war has befallen a Hungary that is still the second poorest country in Europe, trailing not only western Europe but the other countries of the region as well,” Márki-Zay said.
“This government has wasted and stolen twelve years of the lives of Hungarians,” he said. “The country doesn’t have another four years for this, because if Orbán stays in power, we know what’ll happen next: we’ll become poorer during the crisis while they get even richer.”
“We have the strength and we have the plan to fix what they’ve ruined,” he said.
Márki-Zay said Hungary would only receive more EU funding “if Orbán goes”, insisting that the country needed to enact anti-corruption measures and join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office in order to have access to the 1.5 million forints per capita it was entitled to. “Orbán will never do this because he’d end up like his Bulgarian counterpart,” Márki-Zay said, referring to Bulgaria’s former prime minister Boyko Borissov, who was recently arrested following an investigation by the European prosecutor’s office.
If the current opposition forms the next government, Hungary will immediately join the European prosecutor’s office, politicians will be held accountable and Hungary will not be a country where actions have no consequences, Márki-Zay said.
He said the opposition was also prepared to introduce the euro within five years, and until then would bring down prices by strengthening the forint and reducing VAT.
The new government would also resolve the fuel crisis through the use of subsidies, strategic stockpiling, and tax cuts, he said.
The opposition does not want to see hundreds of thousands of more people leave the country, he said. “It is Europe that must be brought here,” he said. “That’s impossible to do with Viktor Orbán … but it is possible with the help of the EU and NATO.”
He said that if Hungary were a loyal member of the EU and NATO “instead of constantly betraying its allies”, there would not be a war in Hungary.
“But there will only be peace if there isn’t warfare; if there aren’t hate campaigns or lie factories,” Márki-Zay said. “Therefore it’s clear: West over East, which requires a change of government on April 3.”
Márki-Zay said it was a lie that the opposition wanted to send troops to Ukraine. He said the opposition supported the stance of NATO, which he said was not sending troops to the country. The PM candidate noted that he has filed a criminal complaint over allegations that the opposition parties wanted to send Hungarian troops to fight in Ukraine.
Featured photo via Péter Márki-Zay’s Facebook page