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Cracks in opposition cooperation

January 21st, 2013

Left-wing and liberal commentators ponder the chances of Together 2014 after its failure to unite the opposition parties. Will it eventually split? And does Gordon Bajnai still stand any chance of becoming Orbán’s challenger at the next election?

Together 2014 appears to be losing momentum, Magyar Narancs writes in an editorial. The liberal weekly believes cooperation among left-wing parties has made precious little progress so far. Although MSZP, Together 2014 and Democratic Coalition have started negotiations (see BudaPost January 3), neither the Socialists, nor Bajnai’s group have yet decided whether or not to take part in a broad anti-Fidesz electoral alliance. Although Magyar Narancs believes that the Orbán government is extremely unsuccessful, the opposition parties have so far failed to capitalize on the growing discontent with Fidesz.

The opposition parties have not even been able to agree on what they should be discussing, Zoltán Ceglédi writes in Heti Világgazdaság. The liberal commentator contends that the motley crew of diverse opposition groups is only united by their determination to replace Fidesz at the 2014 election, but lacks any concrete policy ideas. Its success, however, seems a rather distant possibility, since the combined support of the opposition parties is still lagging behind that of Fidesz, Ceglédi concludes.

On Thursday, Heti Világgazdaság reported that Together 2014 may split into as many as three parties, because what is essentially an Bajnai’s umbrella organization has failed to unite all the important opposition parties, the weekly wrote. After Bajnai’s decision to distance Together 2014 from the MSZP and stay out of further talks with the Socialists and the Democratic Coalition, it is now far from clear whether Together 2014 can be kept together, or whether Milla and Solidarity, the two main founding organizations would prefer to have their own separate parties. It may thus happen that instead of a united left-wing opposition challenging the ruling right wing, there will be as many as seven parties competing for the votes of the liberal and left-wing constituencies in 2014, Heti Világgazdaság speculates.

Bajnai has lost a battle, but not the war, Véleményvezér contends. According to the liberal conservative blog, although Together 2014 failed to unite the opposition, Bajnai still has a chance to become the candidate for Prime Minister of the opposition parties. Véleményvezér argues that the last left-wing Premier is still the only person who could represent a credible alternative to PM Viktor Orbán, and thus the opposition parties will have to stand by him if they want to win in 2014.

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