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Leader leaves teachers’ protest movement

September 30th, 2016

A left-wing analyst blames the opposition for being unable to capitalise on protest movements in different sectors of the economy.

In an interview with Magyar Nemzet on Wednesday, István Pukli announced that he is leaving the teachers’ protest movement he helped to found early this year (See BudaPost February to May 2016). He would have wanted to confine the activities of the movement to the sphere of education, while other leading personalities got increasingly involved with other contentious issues as well. Their latest decision, which pushed Mr Pukli to resign from the movement, was to take a pro-migrant position in the heat of the anti-quota referendum campaign. Mr Pukli said he does not want to become the ‘Messiah’ of the Left.

In Népszava, Róbert Friss understands Pukli’s decision and thinks that it is quite natural for civic initiatives to focus on one particular issue rather than to become surrogate political parties. They can mobilise people of diverse political creeds as long as they do not overreach into the field of politics. It would be the task of opposition parties to translate the drive of various civic initiatives into politics, Friss argues. And that is precisely what the current left-wing opposition seems incapable of. People involved in various protest movements tend to fill the political vacuum, thereby causing divisions within their own movements, he explains. Friss would wish what he calls the incumbent ‘political system’ to be ‘overthrown’, but warns that would be the task of the political opposition, rather than of civic movements.


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