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A new chapter in the left-wing saga?

November 16th, 2013

Commentators on both the left and the right wonder if the MSZP intends to re-open negotiations with the Democratic Coalition after a Socialist luminary said that former PM Gyurcsány’s party cannot be left out of an anti-Orbán electoral coalition.

Just weeks after the MSZP and Together 2014 cancelled talks with former PM Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition, former MSZP chairperson Ildikó Lendvai (now adviser to MSZP leader Attila Mesterházy) told Heti Világgazdaság that the MSZP’s decision to rule out cooperation with PM Gyurcsány’s party should be reconsidered. Together 2014 leader Gordon Bajnai also suggested that under certain conditions he would also support reopening the talks with Mr Gyurcsány.

Gyurcsány cannot be either tamed or defeated, Miklós Zsolnay comments in Magyar Nemzet. The conservative columnist contends that the left lacks a credible vision as much as a credible leader. Other than criticizing the Orbán government they have no real message and that is why, Zsolnay argues, they cannot even imagine that their opponents have genuine ideas and consider the national interest and religious values important.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Antónia Rádi speculates that in the light of the latest opinion polls, the MSZP may renege on the previous agreement with Together 2014. The latest polls suggest that Bajnai’s Together 2014 has not moved an inch from its 4 to 5 per cent ratings, while Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition has strengthened and at 2 to 4 per cent might well pass the Parliamentary threshold. But bearing in mind Mr Gyurcsány’s unpredictable nature, the MSZP would take a high risk by cooperating with him, Rádi believes.

All potential left-wing contenders for the post of Prime Minister are parodies of a real leader, Gyula T. Máté writes in Magyar Hírlap. The pro-government commentator maintains that all three parties on the left have realized by now that they have no real chance to win the next election. The battle is not about leading a victorious coalition against PM Orbán, but rather to secure the leadership of the left after 2014, Máté suggests.

If the left-wing parties continue their comic struggle for the leadership, Fidesz may again secure a two-thirds victory in 2014, Véleményvezér suggests. The centrist pundit contends that the left is paralyzed by its core constituency making up around the 15 per cent of voting age population. This cohort of elderly people, nostalgic for the 1980s, will decide who will lead the left, Véleményvezér suspects. But whichever of the three leaders on the left wins over their hearts, he will have a hard time connecting to other left-leaning voters whose sympathies and ideals are very distant from those of the core Socialist constituency, Véleményvezér concludes.

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