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Nailbiter in Budapest: the Clash of Two Left-wingers Still Undecided

Hungary Today 2024.06.10.

After the withdrawal of the governing party, Fidesz’s mayoral candidate, Alexandra Szentkirályi on Friday, only two candidates with a fighting chance were left in the race for the capital Budapest. In the capital’s General Assembly though, Viktor Orbán’s party has managed to snatch the most seats, one third of the total mandates.

According to MTI, incumbent Gergely Karácsony has won the election with 47.53% of the vote in a close race with Dávid Vitézy, who received 47.49% of the vote. The difference between the two politicians currently stands at 324 votes, with a few votes not yet counted. András Grundtner of the nationalist Our Homeland (Mi Hazánk) movement received less than 5% of the vote.

The incumbent mayor, Gergely Karácsony during his, somewhat premature, victory speech. Photo:
MTI / Máthé Zoltán

Vitézy asks for a recount

The runner up in the mayoral elections, Dávid Vitézy, had pointed out that there were over 22,000 invalid votes on the National Election Office’s website, hence no one can claim a final victory. He said he wanted to inform Gergely Karácsony about his observations, but could not reach him by phone.

Chart: MTI

On Friday, only two days before the elections, the governing Fidesz’s candidate, Alexandra Szentkirályi, had withdrawn from the electoral race, asking conservative voters to give their support to Dávid Vitézy. On her social media page, she claimed that the most important thing is that the incumbent mayor, Gergely Karácsony, should leave the city and make way for change.

According to the election results, the seats in the capital’s assembly are distributed as follows: Fidesz-KDNP, and the recently formed TISZA Party (led by Péter Magyar), won 10 seats each. Although Fidesz has won most of the votes with 28.7% against TISZA’s 27.3, the extra percentage point will not be sufficient to give Orbán’s party an extra representative in Budapest’s General Assembly.

Péter Magyar on election night. Photo: MTI / Hegedüs Róbert

The left-wing DK-MSZP-Párbeszéd-Zöldek coalition is the second largest opposition group with seven seats, while LMP (Hungary’s green party), which nominated Dávid Vitézy, won three seats. The Hungarian Two-tailed Dog Party, an anti-politics, anti-establishment group, won two seats.

The Dog Party was a surprise in the elections, as Gergely Kovács, the leader of the political grouping usually known for its absurd and humorous performances, won the mayor’s seat in the long-standing pro-government 12th district.

Of Budapest’s 23 districts, districts 4, 12, and 14 will see leadership changes. Fidesz-KDNP has doubled the number of districts it controls in the capital, from three in 2019, to six now led by a pro-government mayor.

This, however, is still considered a disappointing result, meaning that 17 out of 23 districts will be controlled by the left-wing opposition.

Elected mayors of Budapest. (Orange: Fidesz-KDNP, green: opposition, brown: independent). Picture: MTI

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Via MTI; Featured image: MTI / Koszticsák Szilárd

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