A liberal columnist finds it highly problematic that the Socialists support a candidate with past KGB affiliation in a parliamentary by-election scheduled for the end of November.
In Budapest’s 4th district, a by-election is to be held on November 23, after MSZP MP Péter Kiss died last July. Last week, Magyar Nemzet reported that in 1984 MSZP candidate Imre Horváth, a former immigration officer attended a KGB course for top border guard officers. After learning about Horváth’s past affiliation with the KGB, the Democratic Coalition and Together 2014 withdrew their support from Horváth at the November by-election.
In Népszabadság, Ervin Tamás points out that the Budapest by-election could have offered an opportunity for the Left to present a rebranded image after being defeated in three consecutive elections in 2014. But despite the party leadership’s promises to reform the MSZP, the Socialists are running a 70 year old candidate who adds nothing to the old image of the left-wing party, or its old slogans Tamás notes. He finds it particularly unfortunate that Horváth’s past KGB affiliation had not been earlier revealed and clarified. Tamás believes that the fact that Horváth attended a course organized by the KGB does not imply that he had effective ties to the past Soviet security agency, but he still finds the message of his nomination controversial and problematic. In conclusion, Tamás suggests that with such candidates, it will be hard for the Left to criticize the Fidesz government for becoming increasingly pro-Russian.