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Socialist strongman wants Gyurcsány out

May 26th, 2011

Infighting within the Socialist Party is now continuing in broad daylight as party strongman László Puch calls on former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány to leave the Socialists in peace and build his own party.

Mr László Puch is Mr Gyurcsány’s stiffest influential opponent among the Socialists. After a decade spent as party treasurer then a short period as state secretary, he is now running the party’s organizational and financial matters in his quality as party manager.

In an interview published in the weekly Figyelő, he traces a bleak picture of Mr Gyurcsány’s performance as party chairman and Prime Minister. “The reckless bus driver lost control over the vehicle along a winding road. When the bus capsized, the remaining one million passengers (i.e. voters, instead of 1.8 million earlier) managed to put it back onto the road and started moving, slowly but at least in the right direction this time. Now the driver, always up to the snuff, suddenly comes forth, claiming back his place behind the steering wheel.”

Mr Puch accuses Gyurcsány of not shrinking from anything in order to promote his own personal ambitions, namely the desire to take his revenge on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. “The main problem is whether it is admissible to plunge this country, already so deeply divided, into a Gyurcsány-Orbán war once more.”

In his private blog, Mr Gyurcsány calls Mr Puch „a barbarian”, although without mentioning him by name, after the left wing daily Népszava withdrew a commentary by Zsolt Gréczy, one of Mr Gyurcsány’s former aids and present supporters, from its website. On the same day, Gréczy’s own blog was removed from the left wing Stop.hu internet site.

In a subsequent interview, this time in the moderate right-wing weekly Heti Válasz, Mr Puch flatly denies ordering the removal of those items from the web. And he accuses Mr Gyurcsány of having cowardly deserted his party, by resigning when both the Socialists and the country were in trouble, during the financial crisis in 2009, and wanting now to “hoist the party flag he once dropped”.

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