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In search of a viable opposition alternative

March 15th, 2016

Moderate analysts wonder why Fidesz seems to be on track for a third consecutive electoral victory (albeit still 2 years away). They believe there is no real competitor in sight.

In his op-ed piece in Magyar Idők, independent commentator János Pelle suggests that the Left ruined its reputation while in government for eight years from 2002 to 2010, but the fact that it has been unable to revive itself since then is also due to unfavourable external conditions. One is the slow growth rate which would make promises of higher living standards hard to believe. Another is the current wave of immigration to Europe, to which the European leaders seem unable to find a convincing solution. By backing them, the Hungarian Left condemns itself to failure, Pelle concludes. He also believes the left has no chance of becoming a real alternative to Fidesz as long as it doesn’t find a leader who could be a match to PM Viktor Orbán.

On Mandiner, Ervin Csizmadia  recalls that previous elections have been won by parties which could promise a better future. At present the Left has no such narrative in store, he suggests. The sporadic protest movements that appear on the scene from time to time have no chance of converging into a political force, precisely because there is no political opposition that could offer an attractive answer to their grievances. Opposition politicians are not bad on individual policy issues, he writes, but they lack an overall vision which would make it possible for protesters to identify with them. He is undecided on whether NGOs can take over the role of traditional parties. In western Europe he sees several movements which are turning into political forces that might play an important role in the future.


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