Following the crushing defeat of the opposition in the 2022 elections, the search for a scapegoat continues. Péter Jakab, the president of Jobbik, yet again slammed Péter Márki-Zay – even more harshly than before – saying that “for the past six months we had been washing the prime ministerial candidate’s dirty laundry enough,” The opposition alliance’s PM candidate was also criticized by the co-chairman of LMP. However, several politicians of the opposition alliance defended Márki-Zay, pointing out that they had lost this election together.
During the election period, they had many conversations, and Péter Jakab never once hid his opinion about Péter Márki-Zay’s campaign, the president of Jobbik told TV channel ATV in an interview after the elections on Monday.
Jakab confirmed that they would not deviate from the path of becoming a people’s party, adding that if this had not happened, there would not have been an opposition alliance.
Jakab said he had visited 120 municipalities, but often had to explain the words of the opposition’s PM candidate instead of talking about the wrongs of Fidesz policies.
According to the leader of Jobbik last year, the party had managed to convince 250,000 undecided voters, but he said they had not been properly “looked after” by Péter Márki-Zay, and they feared instead that the opposition’s candidate for prime minister would “take their sons to war.”
Jakab also explained why he was not present at the opposition’s event awaiting the results of the election, saying he had been angry.
“For the past six months we had been washing the prime minister candidate’s dirty laundry enough,” Jakab said.
Monday’s comments are not the first time that the Jobbik president has used harsh words against Péter Márki-Zay.
Along with Ferenc Gyurcsány, the politician had already made some sharply critical comments about the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely earlier on the night of the election. At the time, Jakab clearly named Márki-Zay for being responsible for the opposition’s defeat.
Máté Kanász-Nagy also partly blamed Márki-Zay for the opposition’s more than underwhelming election result. During an online press conference, the co-leader of green LMP said that a candidate for prime minister has a serious and decisive responsibility in victory and defeat, and that this question is inescapable, but it cannot be said that it is solely and exclusively their responsibility.
“Of course, it is now possible to talk about the fact that Márki-Zay made mistakes, that he over-analyzed the past period, and that his team ran the operational and communication part of the campaign, which was not professional in all its elements. So his work will also have to be assessed,” Máté Kanász-Nagy told government-critical Magyar Hang.
In addition to those pointing fingers at Márki-Zay, several opposition politicians tried to defend him, sharing the belief that the opposition alliance is collectively responsible for the defeat.
According to Anna Donáth, the president of Momentum and one of the two opposition politicians who appeared on stage with Márki-Zay on the election night after losing, there’s no point in sugar-coating it, “they lost this election,” however, the opposition should stop looking for a scapegoat. “As opposition politicians, we are all responsible for this failure,” the leader of Momentum commented on social media on Monday.
Bertalan Tóth, co-president of the Socialist party, expressed a similar view. “It is not right for the parties that are part of the alliance and their leaders to point fingers at each other or to try to blame one person,” Tóth said in a video published on Monday.
Tímea Szabó, co-chair of Párbeszéd party and newly elected member of Parliament, even expressed her gratitude to Péter Márki-Zay on Facebook for “the extraordinary effort” with which he toured the entire country during the campaign period.
Márki-Zay: Opposition lost the voters of Jobbik
After the opposition’s election defeat, Márki-Zay gave an interview to Youtube channel Partizán. The mayor of Hódmezővásárhely mentioned several reasons behind the significant victory of governing Fidesz. One of the reasons is that Ferenc Ferenc Gyurcsány continues to be actively involved in opposition politics, another is the war, and lastly he mentioned the government’s “brainwashing” propaganda coming from the media.
He said “nobody expected the result would be like that. We had a faint hope that this election could be won, but nobody thought that Fidesz could win two-thirds of the seats.”
Asked how to explain the disappearance of nearly a million opposition voters, Márki-Zay said that a month ago they had already measured that they could not reach at least a third of the voters who voted for Jobbik in 2018, but on election day it turned out that this proportion was actually two-thirds. “It was actually Jobbik who lost the voters who were missing from our voter base.”
In the featured photo: Jobbik’s president Péter Jakab. Photo by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI