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Doubts about Botka’s candidacy

January 27th, 2017

A liberal columnist thinks that the MSZP candidate for PM has slim chances of uniting the Left. An alt-Left blogger likes Botka’s egalitarian vision, but thinks that he can lead the Left only if he has his own base of supporters.

Index’s Szabolcs Dull doubts that Szeged Mayor László Botka, named MSZP candidate for PM in the 2018 Parliamentary election, (see BudaPost January 20) can win the support of other left-wing parties and become their joint candidate. The liberal columnist recalls that the Together party has rejected the idea of cooperating with the MSZP in the first place. Another minor left-liberal party, Dialogue insists that the Left should decide on their joint candidate through a preliminary election. Dull also notes that Mr Botka had said that former PM Gyurcsány should not be part of the Left’s joint list. In light of Botka’s expectations, Dull deems it unlikely that Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition would agree to support Botka’s candidacy. In conclusion, Dull suspects that Botka will fail to unite the Left behind him, and the opposition’s desperate search for a joint candidate may soon resume.

In Kettős MérceSzilárd István Pap welcomes Botka’s plan to return the Left to classical social democratic egalitarian principles. The alt-left pundit thinks that the Left can restore its support and challenge Fidesz only if it promises to battle inequality. Pap, nonetheless, is somewhat sceptical whether Botka can reunite the Left. He suspects that even the MSZP leadership may not be fully behind him. Pap speculates that some Socialist luminaries may have supported Botka’s candidacy in the hope that Botka would fail anyway, and thus they could rise in the party to challenge the current leaders. Thus Botka can only unite the Left behind him if he starts a country-wide campaign in order to earn the sympathy of voters and build his own base, loyal to him alone.