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Mesterházy and Bajnai playing chicken?

January 2nd, 2013

A centrist analyst suggests that Socialist Party leader Attila Mesterházy is playing his hand more wisely against his rival, Gordon Bajnai than most analyst realize.

In a commentary for Heti Válasz, Gábor Török writes in the left-of-center political scene. While Gordon Bajnai, after his Together-2014 speech (See BudaPost, November 12), was seen by many as the potential new political focus of a fragmented opposition,  Török remarks that Attila Mesterházy has not given up his plans to become the left-wing candidate for the prime minister’s office. He waited for the waves of high expectations to subside and took the initiative by starting negotiations on joint candidates for the 2014 elections. Like in the classical chicken game, says Török, the two protagonists are rushing towards each other, waiting for the other to “chicken out” before the fateful collision. However, Mesterházy has the advantage here, with a well-organized party apparatus behind him. He can afford to switch to a plan B, if Bajnai gets the coveted leadership position. But for Bajnai there is no plan B, Török concludes, as it is highly improbable that he would accept a minor position like that of a minister in a Mesterházy-cabinet.

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