A left-wing columnist finds it disappointing that politicians across the board twist the rules in order to gain immoral benefits. He believes that unless the Left learns to play by the rules, it cannot credibly accuse the government of corruption.
If a Hungarian politician claims that he has not violated any laws, everyone will know that he has committed something immoral and highly repugnant, Péter Pető writes in Népszabadság. He recalls that the Left accuses Miklós Seszták, Minister of National Development of having run an off-shore company and setting up scores of hollow companies as a lawyer in Kisvárda, eastern Hungary, and also of favouritism in gaining access to EU funds (see BudaPost, August 1). At the same time, as it turns out, leading left-wing politicians are also less than consistent in observing the rules, Pető notes. He finds it particularly disappointing that the new MSZP leader, József Tóbiás has for years claimed travel reimbursement as if he lived in the city of Nyíregyháza 250 kilometers from Budapest, while in reality he was permanently staying in Budapest. Similarly, Democratic Coalition MP László Varju, who accuses the government of giving tobacco shop licences to its allies (see BudaPost throughout April, 2013) claimed six months of severance payments after stepping down as an MP in April. When Varju returned to Parliament after two months, he refused to return the severance payments, claiming that he can lawfully keep the money, Pető complajns. He points out that in light of such incidents, the Left’s claims about government corruption and immoral conduct are nothing more than irritating, disingenuous and fake theatrical stunts. In an aside, Pető remarks that Fidesz could win two consecutive elections with a two-thirds majority precisely because the Left had lost the moral highground to criticize the Orbán government. Unless they learn to observe basic principles of justice in addition to explicit legal norms, the Left will have no chance of regaining support, Pető suggests.