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Botka confirmed as Socialist candidate for PM

January 20th, 2017

A left-wing commentator suggests the Socialist Mayor of Szeged is fit for the hard job, while a conservative observer thinks he has no project to offer the electorate.

The Presidium of the Socialist Party  decided to support Mr Botka’s nomination for Prime Minister a month ago (See BudaPost, December 24, 2016), and confirmed that decision on Tuesday. The Mayor of Szeged was asked to start negotiations with the rest of the left-wing opposition. Mr Botka said left-wing parties should run with joint candidates and a joint nationwide electoral list, on the basis of a new left-wing policy.

Népszava‘s György Sebes agrees with Botka’s idea that ”a new left-wing policy is needed“, but he also detects further difficulties in his path. He has to agree with DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány, while in order to win he has to dissociate himself from the “pre-2010” era – when Mr Gyurcsány served as Prime Minister. Mr Botka will also have to dispel the widely shared impression that his party is an emanation of the Communist Party (MSZMP) which ruled Hungary until the transition to democracy in 1990. First of all, however, Sebes notes, Mr Botka will have to endure negative propaganda from the government side.

On Válasz, Barna Borbás pokes fun at “Botka’s magic weapon’ – the discovery that a new left-wing policy is needed. He recalls that Mr Botka used that very same formula over two years ago when he was elected Chairman of the MSZP National Council. Moreover, Borbás also produces links to speeches by MSZP leaders from 2008, 2009 and 2010 which made the same discovery, time and again.  “An idea repeated so often by so many leaders must inevitably be a magic weapon”, he writes.


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