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Left’s search for identity continues

October 16th, 2014

A pro-government columnist predicts that the left-wing parties will continue their battle for ideas and leadership as Socialist leader Tóbiás announces plans to distance the MSZP from the liberal opposition parties. A left-wing commentator welcomes his plan to reconnect with poor voters in the countryside who have been lured away by Jobbik.

Outlining his vision of the Socialist Party after Sunday’s municipal elections, MSZP Chairman József Tóbiás said that his party should return to its social democratic roots and distance itself from both the governing centre-right Fidesz and former PM Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition.

Magyar Hírlap’s Gyula Máté T. predicts that the left-wing parties will continue their ideological struggle and battle for leadership. The pro-government columnist suspects that all actors on the Left will be busy fighting each other and thus are unlikely to settle on a consistent program or offer meaningful answers to social problems. Instead of reasonable suggestions, they will try to regain strength by continuing their uncompromising criticism of the Orbán regime without suggesting a credible alternative to it. In an aside, he suggests that MSZP leader Tóbiás will have a hard time to fight Gyurcsány and at the same time to reinvent his party along social democratic lines. Since the MSZP secured only a small number of seats in local councils and county assemblies at the municipal election, their hinterland has become weaker than it used to be.

In Népszabadság, Ákos Tóth is optimistic about Tóbiás’ plans to return his party to social democratic ideals. The left-wing commentator welcomes Tóbiás’ idea to clearly distance the MSZP both from the governing Fidesz and the liberal opposition led by Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition. Tóth hopes that the Socialist will thus become more successful in addressing rural voters who have been increasingly turning towards far-right Jobbik in the absence of a true social democratic party.

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