Despite the opposition parties endorsing one another, stressing that primaries are a celebration of democracy, their campaign and fights for positions aren’t void of minor internal skirmishes and controversy. Meanwhile, ruling Fidesz’s narrative depicts the opposition primaries as a theater, insisting that one way or another, former controversial PM, Ferenc Gyurcsány (now DK’s leader), will be in charge within the opposition.
Fidesz and MSZP secretly cooperating in the East?
In reference to a leaked recording, Jobbik wants the withdrawal of the Socialist candidate in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg’s 5th constituency. A local DK politician can be heard on the secretly-recorded tape claiming that local Fidesz voters would help MSZP’s Ildikó Papp (also supported by DK in that district) in primaries against Jobbik’s István Földi (former mayor of Kocsord).
The recording also revealed that perhaps a close, long-time friendship between MSZP’s local constituency president and the district’s Fidesz lawmaker, Sándor Kovács (accused with EU funds fraud numerous times) might be behind a potential collaboration.
MSZP denies any secret cooperation, however, and wouldn’t withdraw its candidate. In return, they likewise accused Földi of fraud committed during his time as mayor of the local village, similarly wanting him to withdraw.
A DK-linked site attacking Karácsony
Gergely Karácsony recently condemned a Facebook page, called Europálya, that attacked him and which in his opinion belongs to DK (who are running Klára Dobrev against him). The named portal cited pro-Fidesz institute Századvég’s post (that refers to one of their polls but without any sources), that claims that the incumbent Budapest mayor doesn’t stand a chance against Viktor Orbán as the prime minister cannot be defeated only from Budapest, and a candidate popular in the countryside would also be needed.
And this hasn’t been the site’s only post targeting Karácsony lately. For example, another message brought up the governing circles’ frequent prank against Karácsony concerning his sleeping habits (namely that he allegedly wakes up late contrary to PM Orbán, who says that he only sleeps for about four hours).
While DK denied any connection with the site, liberal 444.hu’s investigation did reveal a link between the Facebook channel’s connected website and the leftist party’s official site.
Karácsony campaigning on Budapest money?
A heated debate developed at one of the last meetings of the National Primaries Committee (OEVB) after certain parties accused Karácsony that he was campaigning (his voice could be heard informing residents via telephone on his leadership’s achievements) using Budapest money (public funds), liberal-leaning ATV reported.
On the other hand, Karácsony insisted that the drive was only the Municipality of Budapest’s response to Fidesz’s smear campaigns.
Eventually, no decision was made at the conference, after only DK, Jobbik, and Momentum would have supported an official move (gathering further information on the case) by OEVB, while MSZP, Párbeszéd, and LMP (the backers of Karácsony’s PM candidacy) disagreed and voted it down.
Pálinkás on failed PM candidacy: I didn’t have a “Kubatov list”
The former PM candidate, who had to withdraw after falling short of recommendation slips, following his departure suggested that he didn’t have “Kubatov lists,” hence his failure. It is hard not to make the conclusion that the former Science Academy president and education minister referred to his rivals and their better resources with the remark.
FactIn two audio recordings (disclosed in 2010) and in a video (disclosed in 2012), now Fidesz’s party director and Ferencvárosi TC president, Gábor Kubatov, spoke about creating and managing a list containing data on the party preference of voters. The ruling party allegedly still uses this illegal registry to mobilize its voters.
Tóth-Hadházy fight rolling on
The juiciest clash in the primaries can be found in Zugló (Budapest’s 8th constituency), where independent (but Momentum-backed) Ákos Hadházy, arguably the most active anti-corruption fighter in domestic politics, will have to confront MSZP strongman Csaba Tóth (also backed by DK and Jobbik), who has been accused of corruption multiple times, and even with the disappearance of a local politician.
Here, verbal and other minor skirmishes began right after Momentum made it public to run Hadházy. In the latest episode, the ethical committee of the National Primaries Committee ruled that Two-tailed Dog Party’s (MKKP) activists’ actions (the satirical party also supports Hadházy) cannot be blamed on Hadházy, although they did violate Tóth’s human dignity.
Image by Ákos Hadházy’s Facebook
Some days ago at the campaigning stalls in the district, one of MKKP’s activists put a horse head on, together with one of Tóth’s campaigning baseball caps, additionally trashing Tóth’s leaflets. The move was obviously referring to verbal clashes (often with mafia-esque remarks, hence the horse head) in the district linked to Tóth (Karácsony himself referred to these earlier in a leaked recording, however, he is now supporting Tóth in the district).
featured image: Kálra Dobrev with Ferenc Gyurcsány; illustration via Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI