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A desperate opposition view on local elections

April 26th, 2019

A left-wing commentator believes that the political class is too attracted to centralism for the local elections scheduled for the autumn to make any real sense.

In Népszava, László Haskó is certain that the opposition is heading for a crushing defeat at the elections for the European Parliament in a month’s time. What’s more, despite attempts to unite behind single mayoral candidates in several settlements, he thinks their overall chances are meagre because of the presence of ‘the usual proven losers’ running for various posts. His main problem, however, is that the municipalities have no real autonomy in Hungary. Even if opposition candidates are elected as mayors, local revenues are highly centralised and re-distributed by the government, which makes local administrations highly dependent on central power. On top of it all, he continues, the mayors are powerless without support from the local councils where party delegates abound, who must be loyal to their national leaders. He doesn’t blame Fidesz alone for that, but holds previous governments equally responsible and believes that in the eventuality that the opposition were to form a government, they wouldn’t be any greater champions of local autonomy.

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