Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Mesterházy and Bajnai: a first step towards unity

April 30th, 2013

An opposition paper reacts with cautious optimism to the MSZP-Together 2014 negotiations, while a pro-government daily finds efforts to patch together an alliance unconvincing.

Over the weekend, MSZP chairman Attila Mesterházy and the leader of Together-2014, Gordon Bajnai met to discuss a strategy of cooperation for next year’s parliamentary elections. The parties announced that they “took a definite step towards cooperation.” They agreed to put forward joint candidates in individual constituencies and to choose a common candidate for prime minister. MSZP leader Attila Mesterházy and Gordon Bajnai are in strong competition for the leadership role.

Róbert Friss calls the meeting ’another step forward’ in his Népszabadság commentary. At last, he writes, the parties seem to have realized that it is ’not enough to repeat time and again that the government should be defeated.’ It was high time, he continues, to pay some attention to ’the ever growing crowd who want to see some concrete steps taken.’ However, despite the conciliatory tone, Gordon Bajnai still speaks about a ’broad coalition,’ indicating a change in the political landscape that MSZP strongmen are not happy to hear.

Zsuzsanna Körmendy, a leading commentator at Magyar Nemzet, dismisses the meeting as a ridiculous attempt on the part of the opposition parties to catch up with realities. She presents a satirical picture of oddball splinter parties joining hands with the MSZP and Bajnai.  Such a patchwork coalition, she writes, would be unable to come up with a credible programme. The negotiations show, she argues, that ’the largest of the small opposition parties’ (meaning MSZP) has only one concern: how to grab power at the next elections. The art of politics, however, requires long-term planning, and Fidesz should be praised, not condemned for already having established its own list of candidates. How could this ’chaotic mixture of ideas’ ever mobilize opposition voters?, she asks.

Tags: ,