Weekly newsletter

Neither Opposition PM Candidate Will Step Aside

Júlia Tar 2021.10.07.

Candidates for prime minister, Gergely Karácsony and Péter Márki-Zay, finally concluded their negotiations regarding the second round of the primaries, and it has turned out that neither will step aside. This option was suggested for the first time yesterday. The two were in talks for almost a week about which one of them would withdraw.

This makes it official: none of the three names on the ballot papers already printed out will be crossed out. Both Karácsony and Márki-Zay’s names will stay beside the third candidate, Klára Dobrev.

Márki-Zay and Karácsony wanted to run jointly- at one point, they even wanted to have their names next to each other instead of in succession on the ballot papers, but the Civil Electoral Commission (CVB) did not allow this, saying that they cannot change the rules during the elections.

Earlier, Márki-Zay said that he would reluctantly step aside if it came to that. In contrast, Karácsony never said that he would be willing to forfeit. At one point Karácsony even said he would have to be hit by a tram to withdraw.

Wednesday brought an “extraordinary press conference” by Karácsony, who insisted yet again he would not step aside. The announcement came as a surprise to Márki-Zay, who believed they would be meeting later that day and would make a joint announcement on Thursday about their decision. Afterwards, Márki-Zay said that based on the surveys Karácsony should step aside, and he was planning to enter the second round of the opposition primaries whatever the Budapest mayor’s decision was. They had a meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening, which in fact proved to be their last.

Opposition PM Candidates Karácsony and Márki-Zay Still Undecided Who Should Step Aside Amid Contradictory Survey Results
Opposition PM Candidates Karácsony and Márki-Zay Still Undecided Who Should Step Aside Amid Contradictory Survey Results

The story took a new turn on Wednesday, suggesting that it is also possible that in the end, all the three PM candidates could clash in the second round.Continue reading

Karácsony announced the following on his Facebook page after he had a meeting with Márki-Zay on Wednesday evening:

“I said it on Friday, I said it on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evening to Péter Márki-Zay: I am calling for allies for the program of Hungary’s reunification, for the social and green turn. Power bargaining and contradictory opinion polls do not matter when the future of Hungary is at stake. Although I have never asked for it, Péter Márki-Zay had been saying for months that he would withdraw in my favor in the second round of the primaries. But at the last minute before the voting, he decided to do the exact opposite. I, of course, respect his decision. As a result, we are running separately in the second round, but we are both committed to preserving and strengthening opposition unity.”

LIBE Delegation Head: Fair Play in Hungarian Elections 'Doubtful' in Light of Fidesz's Power
LIBE Delegation Head: Fair Play in Hungarian Elections 'Doubtful' in Light of Fidesz's Power

In addition to public media access, MEPs reportedly raised concerns over the possible misuse of EU funds in Hungary through the recently introduced system of foundations too, Delbos-Corfield said.Continue reading

Márki-Zay said that “I tried to persuade Gergely Karácsony that the best chance of replacing Viktor Orbán would be if he stepped down, not me. The Medián and Závecz polls, as well as our own large sample survey, prove that there is a better chance not only of replacing Viktor Orbán but also of winning the primaries if he resigns and not I. Indeed, if I were to step down in favor of Karácsony, he would not be able to defeat Klára Dobrev.”

He mentioned the surveys that apparently show his better chances of winning in yesterday’s statement as well. As we also reported yesterday, there were three surveys conducted. The two Márki-Zay mentioned and another one by the Publicus Institute. They all show different results and it seems Karácsony and Márki-Zay do not interpret them the same either.

Márki-Zay added:

It was a very unpleasant, very difficult decision. But there is no way I will step down.”

One of the two parties whose candidates did not make it to the second round is Jobbik. Their president, Péter Jakab, said the party will not support anyone, yet people should decide according to their own best judgment. They will support the one remaining candidate in the end.

The only question left now is who will Momentum support (the other party who did not make it to the second round of the primaries). They might back Márki-Zay or Karácsony in the future, yet what is known so far is that they are not willing to support Dobrev, their president, András Fekete-Győr, said.

In the featured photo illustration (from left to right): Gergely KArácsony, Klára Dobrev, and Péter Márki-Zay.


Array
(
    [1536x1536] => Array
        (
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 
        )

    [2048x2048] => Array
        (
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] => 
        )

)