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Growing discontent with Botka in the MSZP?

June 24th, 2017

A conservative daily reports that ‘the air is getting thin around Botka’, while a left-wing pundit believes that the MSZP candidate for PM must confront ‘the shadows of his own party’ if he wants to be successful.

In Magyar Nemzet, Mariann Katona quotes unnamed Socialist sources suggesting that László Botka is running into growing resistance within his own party, less than a year before the next parliamentary elections. He has replaced the team of campaign director  (and former party Chairman) József Tóbiás with his own people, surrounds himself with newcomers who used to work for other parties and has disowned Socialist floor leader Bertalan Tóth for his approach to the ‘Poster Bill’ (See BudaPost, June 21). In addition, local MSZP officials who co-operate with the Democratic Coalition and other left-wing groupings are dismayed, she reports, by Botka’s refusal to even talk to potential allies.

Népszava’s Róbert Friss, on the other hand, believes that Mr Botka was right to overrule the floor leader’s idea to negotiate with Fidesz on the ‘Poster Bill’. He argues that the only way to increase the Socialist constituency is to confront Fidesz, rather than striking deals with it. Nevertheless, he acknowledges that Botka has ignited dangerous conflicts within the MSZP – yet he cannot avoid confronting ‘the shadows of his own party’.  Friss warns those within the Socialist Party who want to sit it out and then take revenge on Botka that their attitude will only prolong the party’s agony. ‘The force is with him’, he writes – borrowing a famous sentence from George Lucas’ iconic Star Wars – but for how long, ‘will depend on Botka himself and on his party’s sobriety’.


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