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Opposition rallies on May 1

May 3rd, 2017

A pro-government columnist thinks that Hungarian voters will not buy the opposition’s claims that the Fidesz government is ruining the country. Two liberal commentators fear that the Left is unlikely to unite against Fidesz.

Addressing the MSZP Mayday rally Socialist Party prime ministerial candidate László Botka said that his party would increase welfare benefits and minimum wages if elected next year. Gábor Vona dismissed the Fidesz accusation that he is the puppet of media mogul Lajos Simicska and also ruled out cooperation with the left-wing parties. The Democratic Coalition’s Ferenc Gyurcsány expressed his hope that the Left will nominate ’at any cost joint candidates at the 2018 election. Momentum accused the government of infringing on democratic rights. Fidesz had no public events scheduled on May 1.

Magyar Idők’s Dávid Megyeri sees little difference between the slogans and anti-government accusations of the Left and Jobbik. The pro-government commentator finds it peculiar for the Left and formerly radical Jobbik to suggest in unison that Hungary is marked by large-scale government corruption and inequality. Megyeri contends that these negative ideas are not shared by Hungarian voters. On the contrary, the opposition’s mantra that ‘everything is bad’ in Hungary will alienate many hard-working Hungarians who see the government’s success in job creation and boosting the output of the country, Megyeri believes.

Eleven months ahead of the election the chances of an anti-Fidesz cooperation of opposition parties is still unclear, Gergely Nyilas and Sándor Joób write on Index. The liberal commentators rule out co-operation between Jobbik and the Left. They also find it very unlikely that smaller liberal and left-wing parties including the LMP, Együtt and Momentum would cooperate with the two main left-wing parties. To make things even worse for the Left, the MSZP seems lukewarm about a deal with Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition. In conclusion, Nyilas and Joób recall the two recent local by-elections (see BudaPost April 26) as proof that the Left has a chance to defeat Orbán, but only if its parties run joint candidates.

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