Left-wing commentators welcome former president László Sólyom’s criticism of government policies. Two liberal authors think he did not go far enough.
After having served for eight years as the first president of the Constitutional Court, László Sólyom was elected president of the republic in 2005 and throughout his term in office, was often criticised by the left-wing for his alleged right-wing sympathies. On Sunday, in a speech at the local village feast of Aszófő (a small settlement of 400 inhabitants, just north of Balaton lake, where political scientist Gábor Török is a council member) Sólyom strongly criticised the government for what he called its “recklessness”, as well as for “dismantling the juridical culture” and its intention to introduce voter registration “in violation of the Basic Law and the European Human Rights Charter”.
In Népszabadság, Ákos Tóth believes Sólyom’s comprehensive criticism has “left a lasting wound” on Fidesz’s power. The former president spoke, Tóth argues, on behalf of all those who feel unrepresented in the current Parliament. Tóth suggests that the opposition parties should learn how to address those masses.
In Népszava, deputy editor János Dési disagrees with several of the statements made by László Sólyom, who said today’s widespread disillusionment with politics is also due to the poor credibility of the opposition. Dési admits however that “his words were dictated by his fear for democracy.” He suggests that Sólyom’s remarks should be discussed seriously
On Galamus, Mátyás Eörsi, a former leading official of the now practically defunct liberal Alliance of Free Democrats concedes that Sólyom’s words constitute a “high standard and comprehensive level of criticism,” but he also accuses him of populism and treason. Of populism, because Mr Sólyom approves the general anti-political sentiment, “thereby contributing to it himself”. And of treason, because he says mistrust of the opposition is justified, although seven years ago his candidacy for president of the republic was put forward by the very same people who subsequently became founders of one of those opposition parties, the LMP.
In Magyar Narancs, Literary historian György C, Kálmán, a regular contributor on political issues, against what he called “half-baked objections concerning marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, the protection of the human foetus and the mention made of God’s name”. Kálmán argues that Sólyom as a former president of the republic and of the Constitutional Court, should not denigrate such concerns which are very important for many people.