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Small opposition group saved in Parliament

May 23rd, 2018

As the only independent MP rescues the Dialogue parliamentary Group from extinction, a left-wing pundit warns that what happened signalled a deep crisis within the opposition that only a complete overhaul can resolve.

Anett Bősz, the only liberal MP elected into the new Parliament, left the 5-member Dialogue group saying that she was not being given an opportunity to properly represent liberal values there. Dialogue is usually measured at just below 1 per cent of the electorate and was able to send three members to Parliament thanks to its alliance with the MSZP. Under the House rules, parliamentary groups can be formed by a minimum of five members and therefore the three were joined by one Együtt (Together) politician who was elected as a joint left-wing candidate as well as by Anett Bősz. It turned out that the MSZP refused to keep its promise to cede to the Liberals 60 million Forints from the allowance it is due from the budget, which is seen as the main reason for Ms Bősz’s decision to continue as an independent MP. Independents do not vote in Pparliamentary pommittees nor do they automatically have the right to take the floor in the plenary. To save the Dialogue  group, Tamás Mellár, the only independent MP, decided to join them.

Népszava’s Gábor Horváth describes what is happening within the opposition as a series of convulsions, and asks whether they are symptoms of birth labour or mortal agony. Jobbik, LMP and the MSZP are all tormented by internal feuds, while Dialogue was almost torpedoed ‘by an external force’. No money, no energy, no ideas, he writes, which might suggest that this may be the death rattle. All the same, Horváth remarks, there are a few promising actors on the scene, including Gergely Karácsony, who led the MSZP-Dialogue alliance but chose his mayoral position in the 14th district of Budapest rather than a seat in Parliament. Further personalities Horváth sees as potential opposition leaders are  Péter Márki-Zay, the recently elected Mayor of Hódmezővásárhely  and Ákos Hadházy, a dissident LMP MP. The opposition should first be clear about its immediate and long-term goals, Horváth continues. Only then it can start selecting the individuals who ‘might bring morality back into politics’.


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