Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Farewell to a former president

June 9th, 2011

Hungary’s first right wing president since the régime change died at the age of 80 last week, and the otherwise strongly partisan press was unanimous in praise of his merits. Some nonetheless   contrasted his approach with that of the present right wing government.

Népszava recalls that in his capacity as president (from 2000 to 2005) Ferenc Mádl vetoed less bills under the first Fidesz government than under its Socialist successor. But when he did, his veto was upheld by the Constitutional Court. In an obvious swipe at his successors, the left wing commentator says “we have witnessed since then one self-propelled and one totally biased head of state, and compared to them, Mádl was a perfectly balanced president… The prestige of public office in general was already eroded during his term, but he managed to keep the authority of the President intact”.

Véleményvezér describes Ferenc Mádl as the last old-fashioned conservative politician characterized by loyalty towards friends and foes alike, and by respect towards democratic institutions. The moderate right wing blogger admits that the “pre-Fidesz right wing was an undeniable failure, due perhaps in part to the excessively good manners which Ferenc Mádl exemplified. This rendered them impotent, on occasion, and unable to meet the challenges of modern mass-democracy. But unlike the pre-modern right in general, Ferenc Mádl himself was a successful politician.”