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Gábor Fodor’s farewell to Parliament

February 15th, 2018

As the Socialist Party decided to drop Liberal Party Chairman Gábor Fodor as a well-positioned candidate, a left-wing columnist muses that liberalism’s (but not Fodor’s) only chance to survive in politics is to place itself under the protection of Social Democracy.

In January,  Gábor Fodor, a founding Fidesz member and then a leading figure (and even Chairman for a short time) of the now defunct liberal Alliance of Free Democrats struck a deal with the Socialist Party to run for Parliament. The MSZP leadership intended to place him in the top 15 on their list and nominate him for the individual race in his native Gyöngyös. The deal was rejected by both the Party’s National Praesidium and its local Gyöngyös organisation, and Mr Fodor is now sure not to make it to Parliament in April. After four years out of Parliament, he was last elected on the joint left-wing list in 2014 and is one of the five remaining MPs who were members of the first democratically elected Parliament in 1990 (the other four are also founding Fidesz members: PM V. Orbán, Speaker L. Kövér, Foreign Affairs Committee chair Zs. Németh and Cabinet Minister L. Kósa).

Népszava’s Róbert Friss thinks it is partly Mr Fodor’s own fault if he is unwanted by Socialist militants; describes his political career as ‘self-destructive and twisted’, but doesn’t elaborate further. He quotes Fodor as saying that despite his personal failure, he managed to ensure ‘the continued presence of liberal values in Hungary’. (A leading personality of his tiny liberal Party, Anett Bősz has been placed number 15 on the MSZP-Párbeszéd list and has a guaranteed seat in the House, unless the list gets less than 10 per cent of the votes as required for two-party alliances. See BudaPost, February 14.) Thus, Friss argues, Liberalism which has become ‘a term of abuse’ in Hungary can only hope for its values to survive if taken under protection by a strong social democratic party.

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