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Divided opposition uniting for October 23

October 14th, 2013

A leading liberal commentator believes that the joint celebration of the anniversary of the 56 revolution is just window-dressing, with the main opposition forces intending to ignore the leaders of minor groupings, while claiming the votes of their followers.

In his regular Élet és Irodalom column, editor Zoltán Kovács for refusing to come to terms with Ferenc Gyurcsány and the leaders of an array of minor left-liberal organisations. He does not believe Mesterházy, who blamed the failure of the talks with Mr Gyurcsány on joint candidates at next year’s election on the former prime minister’s “unrealistic demands” (see BudaPost, September 12). He suggests that Mr Gyurcsány was seen as “an obstacle to certain personal ambitions”, but excluding him from the alliance did not solve the problem, for his Democratic Coalition (DK) might soon become more popular than Mr Bajnai’s Together alliance. Kovács finds it unfair that while the two parties to the August opposition electoral pact (see BudaPost, August 31) want to keep Gyurcsány and a further half a dozen left-liberal personalities away from their list of candidates, they expect the followers of those people to vote for them. He describes the sudden decision to have them all on the same rostrum on October 23rd at a rally on the anniversary of the anti-Communist revolution of 1956 as an insincere move. In fact, the event will be organised by Péter Juhász, a vocal opponent of Mr Gyurcsány, whom Kovács quotes as saying that he would never co-operate with the former Prime Minister who “almost led the country to insolvency”. Juhász was one of the founders of Milla (See BudaPost 2012 through 2013), a small group of activists who organised the broadest opposition rallies over the past two years, but was the only one to join Bajnai’s Together movement. The rest of the Milla founders found even Bajnai a key figure of the “past” they wanted to transcend. Kovács accuses Juhász of fearing for his position in the left-liberal alliance in case Gyurcsány and his colleagues were to be co-opted. “The febrile efforts” to unite opposition forces for one day, Kovács concludes, is no proof of  wider co-operation, once all left-wing leaders apart from those of the Socialists and of Together have been excluded from the electoral alliance.

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