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MSZP, Together 2014 and DK start negotiations

January 3rd, 2013

A left-wing commentator warns that without patience and readiness to cooperate with parties who have not joined the negotiations, efforts at cooperation may lead to failure or a two-tier party system at best.

Together 2014 was set up on 23 October 2012 to initiate negotiations between all “democratic parties” in opposition to Fidesz. LMP, the smallest opposition party in Parliament declined the invitation, and almost split in half over the decision. 4k, a small new leftist party outside Parliament did not join either. (See Budapost, October 26 and November 20.) Now delegates representing the Socialist Party, Together 201 and former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition have started talks to co-ordinate their stances on key policy issues.

Róbert Friss, in Népszabadság, warns that the negotiations “should not be overestimated.” What is really important for the moment, he adds, is the very fact that negotiations are under way, and parties had better keep their cool: they cannot break up now without demoralising the strongly anti-Fidesz groups in the electorate. They must also know that to beat Fidesz, voters who would never vote for the MSZP have to be rallied as well. Otherwise, and in the best scenario, we will simply get back the two-tier party system but have no chance of forming a constitutional assembly with a two thirds majority which, after changing the rules, would dissolve itself to give way to new free elections. For this to happen, argues the author, a new opposition coalition must be ready to cooperate with parties who have chosen, so far, not to join.

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