“Christian people do not vote for thieves,” Péter Márki-Zay, the opposition alliance’s candidate for prime minister, told ethnic Hungarians during his two-day long campaign visit to Transylvania. The politician said the opposition wants to guarantee that people can be proud to be Hungarian and not to be ashamed that “our prime minister is Putin’s servant.” Márki-Zay even compared Viktor Orbán to former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
The scheduled programs of Márki-Zay’s visit to Transylvania started in Kolozsvár (Cluj Napoca) on Tuesday, where he participated in a panel discussion.
Márki-Zay began by saying he has been visiting Transylvania since the 1980s, and as a Catholic, he also attended the Csíksomlyó pilgrimage several times.
“We love you and support the citizenship and voting rights of Hungarians living here, even if you don’t vote for us,” he said, adding that he had also disapproved of former Socialist PM Ferenc Gyurcsány’s campaign against extending Hungarian citizenship to ethnic Hungarians with non-Hungarian citizenship and residence during a referendum in 2004. (Gyurcsány’s DK party is part of the six-party alliance behind Márki-Zay).
However, Márki-Zay added that the former prime minister had done so out of pure calculation, having assessed that most ethnic Hungarians beyond the borders of Hungary would not vote for him anyway. Márki-Zay said Viktor Orbán had also given citizenship and the right to vote to Hungarians living beyond the borders out of calculation, after he had assessed that he could count on their support.
According to Péter Márki-Zay, the current level of state support from Hungary to Hungarian communities beyond the borders must be maintained, but the support must be given without corruption and political demands, only for the purposes requested by the Hungarian communities. Not by asking for a hospital and getting a football stadium instead, as he claimed happened in Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc).
The Transylvanian investments initiated with Hungarian state support must be completed regardless, Márki-Zay said. However, he refused to commit himself to implement the irresponsible promises of Fidesz.
He would reform the electoral rules, as he believes it is possible for someone to register in Transylvania but register to vote in Hungary.
Márki-Zay also repeated his earlier fear of “zombie voters” from abroad, saying that “tens of thousands of dead people could cast their votes if they registered ten years ago.”
Fact In reaction to concerns about limited safeguards with regard to postal voting and the accuracy of the voter register for those eligible to cast a postal ballot, Márki-Zay had already suggested last month that postal voting should be suspended. “As long as there is no guarantee that only people who are alive will vote, postal voting should be suspended and voting should be made available at consulates, even for several days,” Márki-Zay said on soical media in February. He added: “We are partners in this, every vote is important, but it is just as important to exclude the possibility of fraud.”
“Our goal is to guarantee that we can be proud to be Hungarian and not to be ashamed that our prime minister is Putin’s servant and that we have become the most corrupt country in the EU,” he said.
Orbán has been consistent in recent years only when it comes to corruption, and has pursued “weathervane” politics in everything else. The opposition alliance’s PM candidate said the biggest problem was corruption in Hungary, and said that if they came to power, Hungary would join the EU prosecutor’s office and send the frauds to jail.
“Christian people do not vote for thieves,” he said. He also complained that the government was maintaining its power through hate propaganda, which he said often turns into violence, and hate can kill.
The next morning, Márki-Zay started the day with a press breakfast in Temesvár (Târgu Mures), where he promised peace not only to the local Hungarians, but also to the majority society.
Photo via Márki-Zay’s official Facebook page
The candidate for prime minister also drew a strong parallel between Viktor Orbán and former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. In connection to this, he had told tabloid Blikk on Tuesday:
“[Just like Ceausescu,] Viktor Orbán has historical crimes against Hungarians. He is responsible for the deaths of so many people in Hungary during the Covid epidemic, as the lives of many elderly people could have been saved if he had not focused on theft. Orbán is still threatening the lives of many people today when he fails to protect Hungary from a possible Russian attack, from which in fact, only the EU and NATO can protect us.”
Péter Márki-Zay’s Transylvanian program concluded with a wreath-laying ceremony at the local Reformed cemetery.
Featured photo via Márki-Zay’s Official Facebook page