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Hungarian political cleavages and the US Presidential election

July 28th, 2016

The leading pro-government daily thinks that the Hungarian left supports Hillary Clinton’s candidacy because they hope that she will help them by criticizing the Orbán government. The leading left-wing daily contends that PM Orbán risks little by endorsing Donald Trump.

After his comments last Saturday on Donald Trump’s candidacy (see BudaPost July 25), Mr Orbán told a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern on Tuesday that “the Democratic Party’s foreign policy is bad for Europe and lethal for Hungary, while Donald Trump’s migration and foreign policy proposals are good for Europe and would mean life for Hungary”.

The Hungarian left-liberals endorse Clinton in the US Presidential election as they hope for external support from the Democratic candidate, László Szócs comments in Magyar Idők on Tuesday’s Democratic Convention. The pro-government columnist likens the Democratic Party’s efforts to help Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders, leaked by WikiLeaks, to US diplomatic criticism levelled against the Orbán government through 2010. Szőcs suggests that in both cases, Democrats tried to pressurize their opponents into submission so that their vision could prevail and their power remains uncontested. A Hungarian left which cannot challenge the Orbán government by its own means wants to rely on the help of the US Democrats to weaken Orbán, Szőcs concludes.

PM Orbán risks nothing by supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy, Népszabadság writes. As Hillary Clinton and her allies have criticised the Orbán government and called on it to respect democratic norms, Orbán would prefer Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton as US President. Orbán does not really believe in Trump, but he would certainly be a better partner for him than Hillary Clinton, Népszabadság suggests.

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