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Opposition leaders quit after lost election

April 11th, 2018

As a series of party leaders resign, admitting their failure to mount a credible challenge to the incumbent government, commentators try to figure out what the new age which began on Monday will bring to Hungary.

All left-wing leaders except DK founder Ferenc Gyurcsány, have tendered their resignations after their crushing defeat at the hands of PM Orbán’s Fidesz in Sunday’s parliamentary election. Jobbik leader Gábor Vona, who made a sharp turn from radicalism to moderation over a short period of three years, has even withdrawn from Parliament. His radical opponents within Jobbik are preparing to steer their party back towards its original vocation on the far right. If they have their way, PM Orbán’s famous strategy of ruling from the centre ‘for 20 years with two incompatible opponents on either side will remain a viable prospect.

In 168 Óra, editor Ákos Tóth thinks the consequences of the Fidesz landslide are unpredictable, but fears an all-out government clampdown on opposition bastions in the media and in civil society. He deems the current opposition incapable of ‘protecting us’ and believes that the Left must start by devising a new ‘language’, both to make itself understood and to allow its disparate components to understand one other. The most difficult job of all, he writes, will be to overcome resignation and despair.

On Mandiner, Márton Békés reads the result of the election as both a sign of support for PM Orbán and an expression of discontent with the opposition. The government side alone, he explains, had a message and a story and therefore no viable alternative exists to PM Orbán today. ‘National and democratic’ forces have the upper hand over ‘internationalist and anti-democratic’ forces, Békés concludes.

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