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Socialist candidate sweeps Újpest by-election

November 26th, 2014

In a note on Sunday’s by-election result, in which the Socialist candidate scored over 50 per cent, a pro-government commentator suggests that a mass of “furious” voters now exist who are ready to choose anyone in their impatience to get rid of Fidesz. A leftist analyst agrees, while a liberal commentator warns that even if Fidesz were to lose its two thirds majority in parliament, its rule would not be in jeopardy.

On Mandiner, Gábor Bencsik, publisher of and regular contributor to Demokrata, depicts the outcome of Sunday’s by-election as a victory for the “furious” who are ready to unite behind any candidate in their anger with the government. The same people, he suggests, defeated the Fidesz candidate at the municipal election in Ózd last month, electing a Jobbik mayor with a sweeping majority, and now they’ve done it again, but this time for a Socialist in Újpest, the 4th district of the capital. The bad news for the opposition is that the “furious” may teach Fidesz a lesson, but cannot win an election. “The anger is bound to evaporate and what remains at the bottom of the pot lacks all the ingredients of a party success,” Bencsik writes.

Left-wing political analyst Zoltán Lakner warns that the defeat of Fidesz in Újpest does not guarantee opposition victory at the next by-election in Veszprem next February. That seat was vacated when the incumbent, Tibor Navracsics, resigned  after his election as member of the European Commission. (If Fidesz were to lose that seat, it would also lose its two thirds majority in Parliament.) Fidesz’s popularity has in fact dropped a few points, and only its core voters showed up both in Ózd and in Újpest. But the outcome varies greatly according to the unequal popularity of the competing parties in the various districts, Lakner remarks on his blog.


On hvg online András Domány finds it hardly probable that Fidesz can be beaten in Veszprém, but remarks that even if it lost its two-thirds majority in the House, it could continue to rule undisturbed. Most pivotal laws only require the two thirds of the MPs in the hall and Domány, who worked as a parliamentary radio correspondent for two decades, remarks that the government side is always more disciplined while opposition and independent MPs are never present in full numbers. The two thirds of all elected MPs is only necessary to amend the Constitution and to elect major dignitaries. Only one of the latter is due to quit in the foreseeable future (the President of the Constitutional Court), and his successor must be elected by a secret ballot, which makes it easier for “defectors” to vote for him, Domány concludes.


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