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A meeting of Momentum representatives elected Ferenc Gelencsér as party leader on Sunday. Gelencsér is one of the centrist-liberal opposition party’s founders, who has held  important positions in the party up until now. He will replace Momentum MEP Anna Donáth, who has only spent around half a year in the post before deciding to step down, as she is expecting her first child.

In the vote, Gelencsér beat incumbent Budapest deputy mayor Gábor Kerpel-Fronius and Hegyvidék’s (Budapest’s 12th district) MP Miklós Hajnal.

According to the party’s statement, he was among the party’s founders. He has been the head of a local party organization, worked as a local council representative, as deputy mayor of Budapest’s 1st district, and is currently the deputy group leader of Momentum in parliament.

Earlier, he argued that he decided to run for the presidency because “we are responsible for the community we are part of,” adding that “instead of aimless ‘Orbánizing’ we need to talk about the vision we have for our country.”

After his victory, he claimed that “we have managed to remain united in these difficult times and are ready to offer a fairer, more humane, and greener alternative.” He added, that “many supporters of the change of government are disheartened and disappointed in the moment. What we really need now is for those who believe in change to continue to work with all their strength.”

Momentum held internal elections after incumbent president Anna Donáth’s recent announcement that she is stepping down. She was only in office since last November. In October, András Fekete-Győr resigned following a motion of no confidence initiated by himself after finishing last at the opposition’s primary election in late September.

Donáth departs as she is expecting her first child.

Later on, the party also elected members of its presidency:

  • Katalin Cseh: one of the founding members of Momentum, former member of the board, currently member of the European Parliament
  • Márton Ilyés: economist, current vice-president of Momentum
  • János Kele: economist, political scientist, sports journalist, General Director of the Budapest Foundation for Enterprise Development
  • Gábor Kerpel-Fronius: Deputy Mayor of Budapest
  • Edvin Mihálik: Historian-political scientist, Member of Szeged Municipality, Green Councilor of Szeged
  • Anikó Paróczai, economist, Member of the Kispest Municipality, founder of Horizont Women’s Political Education

The presidency’s mandate lasts for two years.

featured image via Ferenc Gelencsér/ Facebook

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