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Competing strategies from two former party leaders

September 25th, 2018

The former leaders of the MSZP and of Jobbik depict the political landscape from their own perspectives, and outline the strategies they believe the opposition should follow.

In Népszava, former Socialist Party chairwoman Ildikó Lendvai warns that the opposition has a ‘long march’ ahead before it can defeat the incumbent government. Its supporters, she warns, are increasingly disenchanted both with parliamentary politics and street demonstrations. Without mentioning DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány by name, she cautions against promises to overthrow the ‘Orbán regime’ with a single blow. That can only result in disillusionment, she writes. Lendvai thinks rather that small demonstrations, like Sunday’s rally in protest against the planned relocation of Imre Nagy’s statue, can contribute to slowly shaping a robust opposition.

In a lengthy essay on 24.hu, former Jobbik leader Gábor Vona calls the present compartmentalised opposition a remnant of the 20th century. He envisages liberalism, conservatism, socialism and nationalism as complementary, and decries the current practice whereby they consider each other as mortal enemies. Writing on the left-wing website, the former radical right-wing leader accuses PM Orbán of building a ‘big data dictatorship’ in which the government takes full control over society. He suggests that the various groups of the opposition should overcome their traditional enmities and jointly face that menace.

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