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Challenges for the new MSZP leadership

July 22nd, 2014

Columnists across the political spectrum wonder whether the newly elected Chairman of the Socialist Party can stop the MSZP’s decline.

The mere fact that Tóbiás was the only candidate for the party leadership clearly indicates that leading the MSZP is not a dream career for politicians, György Sebes comments in Népszava. The left-wing columnist nonetheless finds it promising that the new national board of the Socialist Party consists of mostly new faces who may at last manage to reinvent the MSZP. The revamping of the party, however, may be hindered by the sidelined but still influential former luminaries, Sebes warns.

In Magyar Nemzet, Szabolcs Szerető contends that Tóbiás will try to distance the Socialist Party from the liberals and offer a genuine left-wing identity and program in order to prevent further decline. If the new leadership does not succeed in convincing voters that the MSZP is a credible alternative to Fidesz, the Socialist Party may even completely disappear from the Hungarian political scene, Szerető speculates. The conservative columnist believes that the main task for Tóbiás is to reconnect with former MSZP voters who were abandoned and let down by the Socialists when they were in power.

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