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DK launches Mayoral candidate

June 8th, 2019

Left wing analysts suggest that former TV host Olga Kálmán stands a real chance of defeating Gergely Karácsony, until now the only left-wing candidate in the opposition primary later this month. A right-wing commentator finds it inconsistent of the Democratic Coalition to propose her candidacy at the last moment, just before the vote.

Olga Kálmán’s candidacy was announced by Klára Dobrev, the DK’s newly elected front runner for the European Parliament. Ms Dobrev, who is party chairman Ferenc Gyurcsány’s wife, said Ms Kálmán will run as an independent candidate. Earlier, Momentum named its own candidate in the person of Gábor Kerpel-Fronius, an entrepreneur, while Jobbik and the LMP withdrew support for Róbert Puzsér, an independent columnist because he withdrew from the primary but said he would run in the election in the autumn. 

In 24.hu, Péter Pető thinks Kálmán’s candidacy will strengthen the Democratic Coalition and might also signal the definitive demise of the Socialist Party. The Puzsér affair, he continues, will most probably seal the end of the LMP‘s career. He also feels that a strong primary contest will give new impetus to the opposition campaign for the municipal elections, and as a result, Hungary might find itself again with an opposition worthy of that name.

Mérce’s András Jámbor believes that if the Democratic Coalition puts its staff behind Mr Kálmán’s campaign, she can defeat the MSZP candidate. Whoever wins, he writes, will gain strong legitimacy from the primary and can thus be a dangerous challenger to incumbent Fidesz Mayor István Tarlós.

In the headline on its report on Ms Kálmán’s candidacy, Magyar Nemzet defines the move as a coup against Gergely Karácsony, who has been the joint candidate of the Left until now. He was originally due to face Puzsér and no one else in the pőrimary. Ádám Bakonyi and Gábor Baranyai recall in their report that a mere 10 days ago Mr Gyurcsány said Karácsony was also the DK candidate and his party would not abandon him despite becoming the strongest opposition force in the European elections in May. The authors also quote an earlier statement by Olga Kálmán in which she said she would never run for political office and would especially never have the hubris to run for Budapest Mayor.

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