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Socialists in the way of left-wing cooperation

January 27th, 2012

A pro-Gyurcsány commentator believes that the MSZP should cooperate with its left-wing allies, instead of criticizing LMP and the Democratic Coalition, since only a broad coalition of the left-wing opposition can hope to defeat Orbán at the next election.

“The MSZP cannot cope with the current situation. The Socialists are the main challengers of the Orbán regime, but are also in competition for the leadership of the opposition . This dichotomy should be overcome,” writes Balázs Böcskei, director of the pro-Gyurcsány IDEA think tank in Népszabadság .

During the 2010 electoral campaign, the Socialists saw LMP as the “internal opposition of Fidesz”. Since then, the MSZP have oscillated between suggesting cooperation with LMP, and criticizing the green party. According to Böcskei, the hesitant tactics of the Socialists can be explained by party leader Attila Mesterházy’s apparent conviction that the MSZP can challenge Orbán at the next election on their own. Therefore the Socialists are doing everything to woo voters both from LMP, and from Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition.

That Socialist strategy will undermine the establishment of a broad left-wing anti-Orbán coalition, Böcskei warns. Since the new electoral system favours the winning party, the left-wing opposition parties should cooperate rather than compete.

Böcskei hints that cooperation would not cost those parties who get involved votes, since the MSZP is stronger among older voters and in the countryside, while LMP is supported mainly by young voters in Budapest.

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