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MSZP elects candidate for PM

May 30th, 2017

As László Botka is formally confirmed as Socialist frontrunner in the 2018 Parliamentary election, commentators both on Left and Right agree that Mr Botka will face an uphill struggle to challenge Viktor Orbán.

In Magyar Nemzet, Mariann Katona believes that Mr Botka’s left-wing slogans calling for the taxation of the rich may successfully mobilize the MSZP rank and file, but he would also need to woo more liberal voters in order to challenge PM Orbán in 2018. The independent conservative columnist recalls a recent poll according to which more voters would like to see him as Prime Minister than Viktor Orbán, but remarks that the opposition is too fragmented for Mr Botka to have more than a slim chance at the 2018 election.

Despite the overwhelming support of MSZP delegates, Mr Botka faces a very difficult task, György Sebes comments in Népszava. The left-wing columnist points out that Mr Botka will not only have to unite voters dissatisfied with the current government, but may also have to fight other luminaries within the Socialist Party if he really wants to sideline those MSZP politicians he blames for the Fidesz landslide victories in 2010 and 2014 (see BudaPost May 22).

Magyar Idők’s Ferenc Kis points out that in the six months since Mr Botka’s rise as the likely Socialist frontrunner, the MSZP has gained no support. The pro-government columnist thinks that Mr Botka has no credibility and voters do not believe that Hungary would become a less polarized or less unequal place with him as Prime Minister.

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