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Karácsony’s taped remarks on infighting within the Left

September 28th, 2019

Reacting to a taped conversation in which opposition Budapest mayoral candidate Gergely Karácsony expresses grave moral problems with the Socialist Party, a pro-government columnist urges Karácsony to quit the political scene, while a liberal commentator praises him as a staunch opponent of corruption.

In a conversation with two unknown individuals that was leaked on Thursday, Gergely Karácsony said that unnamed people seeking financial favours had threatened and attempted to blackmail him on several occasions during his five year stint as mayor of Budapest’s 14th district. He made it clear that he sees local Socialist leaders behind those threats, some of which were directed against his family.

In Magyar Nemzet, László Néző asks how Karácsony could run the city of Budapest with the Socialist Party behind him, since he himself doesn’t trust them. A decent man, Néző writes, ‘wouldn’t even drink a cup of coffee with such people’, let alone govern the capital with them. He therefore urges Karácsony to immediately withdraw his candidacy and save his honour.

On hvg.hu, Árpád W. Tóta thinks, on the other hand that the conversation only proves that Karácsony is an honest man determined to fight corruption, regardless of its party colours. ‘That is the minimum requirement to serve as Mayor’, he writes. By contrast, he continues, Fidesz candidates regard their party’s interests as their first priority.

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