The leading left-wing daily accuses the floor leader of the MSZP of obstructing the agreement on a joint left-wing mayoral candidate. A pro-government columnist suggests that the latest candidate for the Left lacks the expertise needed to run Budapest.
On Monday, it was reported that the left-wing parties had reached agreement on a joint mayoral candidate. According to those reports, the MSZP, Democratic Coalition and Together 2014 would support the former Surgeon General of Hungary, Ferenc Falus. The agreement was welcomed by leading left-wing media outlets. On Tuesday, however, it was reported that the MSZP Budapest leadership could not reach agreement and left the final decision on whether or not to support the candidacy of Falus to the assembly of Budapest delegates scheduled for Friday. Csaba Horváth, the original MSZP candidate initially announced that he accepted Falus’s nomination and agreed to step back, but later said that the Democratic Coalition and Together 2014 had confronted the Socialists with an unfair ultimatum.
On Tuesday, Népszabadság in a front page editorial welcomed the Left’s agreement on the joint candidate. “The agreement is a pleasant surprise from the left-wing parties,” Népszabadság wrote. The leading left-wing daily suggested that Falus had the experience and expertise needed to challenge István Tarlós, the incumbent Mayor.
In its Wednesday op-ed piece, the same daily harshly criticizes MSZP’s Csaba Horváth for not being willing to step aside. Horváth’s refusal to back down harms the Left, Népszabadság contends. In an aside, the left-wing daily mocks Horváth as an opportunistic politician without any ideas about how to run Budapest. His only merit lies in securing the unconditional support of the MSZP up to now – despite his incompetence, Népszabadság suggests.
We should not take it for granted that Falus will become the joint candidate of the Left, György Pilhál writes in Magyar Nemzet. The pro-government commentator recalls that the Left’s casting for a Budapest mayor has been going on for a while, with the names of several potential candidates mentioned in public. As for the relative merits of Falus, Pilhál recalls that the former Surgeon General was criticized by the right-wing parties for ordering H1N1 vaccines which, according to the critics, could have caused severe side effects.