Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Mounting tensions on the left after local by-election victory

September 4th, 2013

A pro-Gyurcsány commentator accuses opposition forces of excluding his party from the alliance, while a pro-government daily claims Gordon Bajnai’s plan is to embrace Gyurcsány once he becomes prime minister.

At a municipal by-election on Sunday, the joint candidate of MSZP, Together-PM and DK won against the Fidesz candidate with 52% to 29% of the votes cast. The election turnout was 30%, described as normal for by-elections. Szigetszentmiklós is considered a left-leaning district although the deceased councillor was a Fidesz candidate in 2010 and Fidesz still has a majority in the local council. DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány, the former Socialist Prime Minister who left the Socialists in 2011 to form his own party interpreted the election results as proof that an anti-Fidesz election coalition cannot be successful without his party. DK and Gyurcsány are shunned by MSZP and Together-PM because of the unpopularity of the former Prime Minister. They did not include him in the protracted negotiations over the alliance of opposition forces (see BudaPost, September 2 and August 31. Gyurcsány has demanded ten constitutencies and the second place on the Socialist ballot.

On Galamus, the opinion and news portal closest to Gyurcsány, Vera Lánczos finds it shocking that the “friendly media” dismisses Gyurcsány’s claims as egotist blackmail. She believes the MSZP and Together-PM distributed all electoral districts among themselves during the last turn of negotiations in order to exclude Gyurcsány and his DK from the race. The author interprets this move as an attempt of the “failed partners” to thwart “Orbán’s most vocal opponent who commands a nationwide network as well as at least 200,000 voters”. She finds it immoral to expect Gyurcsány to back off and accept some minor spoils such as a couple of places on the Socialist list. The DK, she concludes, is only fighting for “a full-fledged alliance of all democrats” and it is only reasonable to expect other parties to acknowledge its place in this alliance.

In Magyar Hírlap, László Csizmadia, the main organiser of a series of pro-government “peace marches”, has a very different take on the Gyurcsány-MSZP conflict. He claims Gyurcsány “knows all about the shady businesses” of the MSZP and can afford to challenge his former comrades through a commercial television channel: “If you have a problem with me, come forward with it if you dare”. MSZP leader Mesterházy is in a tight spot, the author speculates, and “he will end up as a valet” in the coalition of the left. Gyurcsány cannot forget how the MSZP ousted him, and Bajnai (leader of Together-2014) is “forever in his debt”. Csizmadia believes Bajnai is the real left-wing candidate for prime minister and if he succeeds, “Gyurcsány will be back”.

Tags: , ,