Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Present left-wing parties deemed hopeless

June 30th, 2014

Left-liberal analysts excoriate the competing left-wing parties and believe that something different has to emerge because in their present state, these forces are no match for the governing conservatives.

Magyar Narancs (print edition) suspects that Gordon Bajnai’s apparent withdrawal from politics proves that he is simply unfit for the job of leading the left-liberal opposition. The authors of the editorial acknowledge that there are legitimate reasons for Bajnai to ‘step back’, as he himself said, and wait until the various groups in Együtt (the former civil movement Milla, the Solidarity trade union and his own think tank) sort out a stable balance of power and until a merger with PM (the splinter group of LMP) can be contemplated. But while keeping out of the fray now may give him better options for his political future, the authors deem the timing very unfortunate. Yielding control over the election list and the candidacy for Prime Minister to Socialist Attila Mesterházy during the pre-election negotiations resulted in Együtt’s weak presence in the Hungarian parliament. After the elections he proceeded to give up his seats both in the Hungarian and the European Parliament, and declined to run as mayoral candidate of Budapest. So many retreats might well give his voters the impression that he is simply a loser. In that case, despite the good showing of Együtt-PM at the European elections, his supporters are likely to desert and pick a more aggressive politician. “One who at least actually wants to enter government.”

In 168 óra, political analyst Tamás Boros says someone among the left-wing leaders must defeat the others in order to unite the Left under his leadership. The opposition has not been able to attract more than 1.6 million voters for the last seven years, far less than the number Fidesz can mobilize. The stable but elderly base of the Socialists is dwindling for demographic reasons, he explains, while the new voters who enter politics feel much closer to Jobbik. The MSZP has been overtaken by the radical right-wing party in the former Socialist strongholds in the East and the North. The opposition must embrace new themes – such as law and order, full employment and the prestige of labour – which Hungarians are more attuned to. Forces on the left must fight it out among themselves and  the winner will have to lead the battle. But the strong party that manages to emerge on the left will still have to win over voters from Jobbik, Boros warns.

Tags: , ,