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Left-wing alliance to be broadened

January 8th, 2014

The leading leftist daily deplores the main players’ reluctance to revise their electoral pact, and hopes that their announcement has not come too late. The main pro-government daily is less charitable and points out that after so much ado, the leading left-wing candidate for the Premier’s post has yet to be picked.
On Monday, January 6th, Gordon Bajnai suggested that his deal with Socialist Party leader Attila Mesterházy should be re-negotiated in order to include new partners and gave up his quest for becoming the opposition candidate for Prime Minister, suggesting that the opposition should enter the race with a joint list and one leading candidate. (See BudaPost January 6) Attila Mesterházy told public radio that he also thinks the alliance must be re-considered, since Bajnai’s Together is not faring better in the polls than Gyurcsány’s DK, whose party would obviously be the main new partner to join the alliance. It is still unclear whether the two intend to put Mr Gyurcsány on the joint list, since the latter told them several times last year that if he was the stumbling block on the road to an all-encompassing left-wing coalition, he would “remove that obstacle”.
Népszabadság’s editorial welcomes Bajnai’s move as a concession that may not have come too late. The three players, Mesterházy, Bajnai and Gyurcsány all come from the same (Socialist) family, and became rivals, because they have differing ideas about the world and do not fancy each other too much. But they had to realise that two of them are not strong enough to stand up to Prime Minister Orbán, and as a matter of fact, even the three of them combined are no match for him a few months before the elections. Népszabadság describes Fidesz’s advantage in the polls as “dramatic”, and suggests that Bajnai has decided to act at a time pregnant with grave consequences for the opposition. No matter how painful it is for them to try and emerge from these depths together, that is exactly what their followers expect them to do, Népszabadság remarks.

Magyar Nemzet, on the other hand, is not shy of naming Ferenc Gyurcsány as the victor (the daily has often suggested that, in the end, Gyurcsány would crush his incompetent challengers). Columnist Miklós Ugró recalls the opposition saga as one of futile resistance to Gyurcsány who – with some help from Bálint Magyar, a former Free Democrat leader who just published a book comparing Orbán’s regime to the mafia – can feel his tactics have paid off. The only minor inconvenience yet to be overcome is who is going to lead that joint list – and thereby qualify as the prime ministerial candidate. Gyurcsány had a fourth person in mind, as he told the press back in November, and Ugró wonders if he will now reveal who it is.

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