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More intra-Left conflict ahead

October 3rd, 2014

Analysts on the Left debate whether the left-wing parties should or could support Lajos Bokros as candidate for Budapest mayor despite his neoliberal economic ideas. The leading left-wing daily predicts that after the municipal elections, a new round of intra-Left battles will unfold.

In Népszabadság, Péter Szegő argues that left-wing and Liberal parties should support Lajos Borkos as Budapest mayor, despite Bokros’s free-market ideology. Szegő believes that the most important issue for the Left should be the restoration of liberal values and the rule of law, which, he thinks have been destroyed by the Fidesz government. In an aside he notes that if the small Liberal Party refuses to withdraw its own candidate for Budapest mayor and support Bokros, a liberal, many will suspect that “the Liberal Party is financed by Fidesz”.

Gáspár Miklós Tamás in Heti Világgazdaság welcomes the MSZP leadership’s decision to distance themselves from Lajos Bokros’s ideas. Falus’s withdrawal from the race was a wake-up call for the moderate Left to finally detach themselves from neoliberal doctrines, the Marxist philosopher believes. Tamás adds the Left’s decline is the result of its inability to offer a genuinely social democratic alternative instead of sticking to neoliberal pro-market dogmas.

A new round of desperate struggle for the leadership of the Left will start after the municipal elections, Népszabadság writes in its front page editorial. The leading left-wing daily predicts that in addition to the competition of the left-wing parties, a fight within the MSZP is also “unavoidable” as the Budapest leadership of the party supports Bokros while the leaders and other luminaries of the Socialist Party clearly distanced themselves from the neoliberal politician. Népszabadság suggests that the dispute within the MSZP will strengthen former PM Gyurcsány and his DK party. According to Magyar Nemzet, the pro-Bokros Budapest leadership of the Socialists will quit the MSZP and join Gyurcsány’s liberal Democratic Coalition after the local elections.

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