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Opposition divided on quota referendum

September 3rd, 2016

Following a statementby the Chairman of the Socialist Party who said he was ready to back the government in rejecting compulsory migrant quotas, commentators wonder what the position of the left-wing opposition is – just one month before the quota referendum.

MSZP Chairman Gyula Molnár told the press on Thursday that he considers the quota referendum a senseless and dangerous manoeuvre. Nevertheless, he also disagreed with the idea to impose migrant resettlement quotas on EU member countries. He added that he would be ready to back the government in rejecting them.

„Gyula Molnár squeaking out from Fidesz’s pocket’”, liberal Magyar Narancs’s  headline runs. In an angry comment the authors offer three possible explanations of Molnár’s surprising statement:  either he knows that there are no compulsory quotas on the horizon; or he has been ’simply pocketed by Fidesz’; or again ’he’s nuts’.  For such a statement from the leader of the main opposition party in the heat of the referendum campaign is an obvious call to turn out and vote ’no’. Magyar Narancs believes.

On Mandiner, a commentator writing under the pseudonym ‘Zsigmond and Péterfy’ sarcastically remarks that ’we have lost the opposition on the way’. For Gyula Molnár boycotts the referendum but would back the government. The Democratic Coalition boycotts the voting, disagrees with the government, but is campaigning on its own. Three small formations, which are barely visible in the polls, will stay away from the voting and campaign together. The Liberals, also a minuscule party, will vote ’yes’. Finally the LMP’s leaders won’t turn out themselves, but leave it to their constituency whether they will. The commentator wonders whether these parties will be able to coalesce for the parliamentary elections in 2018.


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