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The dismal failure of former PM Gyurcsány’s gesture

September 22nd, 2018

Left-wing and liberal commentators alike find former PM Gyurcsány’s performance extremely gauche and counterproductive.

On Thursday, former PM Gyurcsány aborted what he had billed as a ‘permanent demonstration’ which he originally announced would last until the resignation of Viktor Orban’s government(see BudaPost September 19). According to various reports, the Budapest rally he launched, and which lasted a mere three days, was attended by only a couple of hundred participants.

444.hu’s László Szily finds the initiative shameful. The liberal pundit agrees with former PM Gyurcsány’s point that the Orbán government is a threat to democracy, but he finds it absurd that such claims are levelled against the government by a former prime minister who miserably failed to respect democratic norms. Szily recalls that during the protest, a barrel with Prime Minister Orbán’s image was displayed and demonstrators were urged to throw things at it. Szily writes that it would have been more appropriate to stage Mr Gyurcsány’s awkward stunt in a rural pub.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Gáspár Miklós Tamás suggests that an opposition which claims to defend democratic values has become as inhumane and aggressive as the government. The Marxist philosopher interprets the stunt with PM Orbán’s image as a ‘symbolic lynching’. Tamás deems the opposition parties incapable of defeating Fidesz. Mr Gyurcsány would do a great favour to the opposition by quitting politics altogether, Tamás concludes.

Népszava’s László Haskó finds it a sad but undeniable fact that Ferenc Gyurcsány is still the only potential challenger to what he calls the ‘Orbán tyranny’. The left-wing commentator describes the leader of the Democratic Coalition as a charismatic leader, but thinks nonetheless that Gyurcsány is unlikely to challenge PM Orbán any time soon. Haskó underlines that Gyurcsány’s past mistakes will never be forgiven by many opposition sympathizers. He also finds it controversial that Gyurcsány wants to defend democratic norms with street protests – usually a tool of radical revolutionaries.