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Veszprém: Left-Wing Opposition Parties Hail Zoltán Kész's By-Election Victory

By Tamás Székely // 2015.02.23.

Zoltán Kész, the independent candidate backed by the left-wing parties, said after his by-election win on Sunday that “Veszprém voters have done what the country had asked of them”. Fidesz-KDNP candidate Lajos Némedi told a press conference late on Sunday that the results must be acknowledged and work must continue. Zoltán Kész, won Sunday’s by-election in Veszprém, in western Hungary, with over 44% of votes cast. Lajos Némedi, the candidate of the governing Fidesz-Christian-Democrat alliance, received just over 33%.

József Tóbiás, the leader of the Socialists’ local chapter, said the election was an example of “new social cooperation”. It is now clear that the Socialists can work together with civil organisations, while “insular” parties are doomed to failure, he said.The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said the victory was a “message of change”, while Viktor Szigetvári, leader of the opposition Együtt (Together) party, said the result returned hope that Hungarian politics can be built on “straight talk and honesty”. The opposition Dialogue for Hungary (PM) called for early elections, insisting that Fidesz had lost the “moral ground” for governing.The local representative of Jobbik said the results were “not a victory for the left but a debacle for Fidesz”.

The stakes were not high enough for the right-wing voter at Sunday’s by-election in Veszprém, western Hungary, ruling Fidesz party’s deputy leader told public radio. Lajos Kósa told Kossuth Rádió that whereas the Fidesz-Christian-Democrat alliance saw the election in terms of who would represent Veszprém and its surroundings in parliament, the stake for the left-wing was to break Fidesz’s two-thirds majority, and it mobilised its voters with that goal in mind. “There’s a lot of things obviously that we’ll have to think through in terms of how we can better serve the interests of people,” he said. At the same time, the result of the by-election does not endanger Fidesz’s ability to govern, he added.

The by-election was held to decide who takes up the parliamentary mandate of Tibor Navracsics, of the ruling Fidesz party, who became an EU commissioner in October last year.Kész’s election victory also means that the Fidesz-KDNP alliance will no longer have a two-thirds majority in parliament even if the government parties retain their mandate at an upcoming by-election in Tapolca on April 12.

via photo: Lajos Nagy – MTI