Commenting on the re-election of the LMP floor leader, and the party’s decision not to join anti-Jobbik demonstrations, left-wing pundits wonder if the green party will and can maintain its centrist image.
In a close 8:7 vote on Friday, Benedek Jávor was re-elected as floor leader of the LMP against András Schiffer, who rules out any cooperation with the MSZP and Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition. Schiffer has also criticized the LMP for initiating talks with alternative opposition NGOs, including 4K!, Solidarity and Milla. Jávor, on the other hand, seems to be more open to a strategic alliance with the MSZP, while he too considers it crucial for the LMP to attract moderate conservative voters dissatisfied with the Fidesz government.
In Népszabadság, Tamás Lajos Szalay contends that the close vote is a clear indication of the LMP’s internal division and lack of a clearly defined character. If the green party cannot overcome its ideological dilemmas, it may get lost in bitter internal debates which could further divide or even split the party. In order to become a strong party, “the LMP needs to decide what it is and what it stands for,” Szalay believes.
On Saturday in the western Hungarian city of Veszprém, the MSZP, the Democratic Coalition and left-wing NGOs organized a counter-demonstration against a Jobbik rally. The LMP said that it finds street politics counterproductive and divisive, and therefore stayed away from the anti-Jobbik protest.
“By distancing itself from the MSZP and the Democratic Coalition, while defending Jobbik, LMP does Fidesz a favour”, Zsolt Gréczy, a former advisor and current supporter of Ferenc Gyurcsány claims. Gréczy believes that by refusing to join the “anti-fascist rally,” in the hope of maintaining its centrist image, the LMP is helping to legitimise a racist agenda, and the rhetoric of the far-right party. The left-wing blogger speculates that all this could foreshadow the forming of an alliance between Fidesz and the LMP, since both parties are trying to keep an equal distance from both the radical right-wing and left-wing opposition.