Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

For want of a credible opposition

June 12th, 2012

A left-wing commentator argues that although the Orbán government has not done much, it may still win the next election for want of a credible alternative.

In an article published in Népszabadság, veteran political analyst László Lengyel comments on a volume of essays by left-wing and liberal authors which draw up a dismal balance of the present government’s first two years in office. In addition to criticising the government’s record in most fields, they accuse PM Orbán personally of failing to contain the so-called culture wars, and thereby seriously damaging Hungary’s international reputation.

Orbán’s drop in popularity, though not really spectacular so far, could be the first sign of a downward spiral – Lengyel remarks. Nevertheless, he continues, there is no sign of disappointed voters flocking to the opposition parties. Quite the contrary. No party in the opposition has even come close to beating Orbán. If elections were to be held next week, Lengyel believes Fidesz would be the winner. There are two other scenarios, he argues. One – shared by most contributors to the volume – is a broad coalition of those opposition forces so divided against one another at present. He does not doubt that such an alliance could be instrumental in defeating Orbán – but where are the signs of such a rapprochement? he asks. The second scenario would be the emergence of a new force that could persuade the disillusioned to come out and vote.

In either case, Lengyel concludes, the post-2014 election period, of which few dare speak today, looks very gloomy. The country will still be in tatters, a potential coalition would have no real power to govern, and thus no credibility either. And it is even conceivable that it will be impossible to form a government in the post-election chaos. If the potential rivals to Fidesz do not pull themselves together and start working on a long-term scenario, Hungary might well end up in an even worse position.

Tags: ,