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Two centrist analysts on the Szájer scandal

December 5th, 2020

Now that the Prime Minister has condemned his long-time close ally for his part in a male sex party in Brussels, one analyst thinks the scandal will change nothing in Hungarian politics, while the other is not so sure.

In the wake of the male sex party, held in breach of Belgian coronavirus lockdown regulations, where prominent Fidesz MEP József Szájer was briefly detained and found in possession of illegal drugs (see BudaPost, December 3),Mr Szájer resigned from the European Parliament, then from Fidesz and also from the board of the Public Foundation where he was a prestigious member. PM Orbán told Magyar Nemzet that while he would never forget Mr Szájer’s political achievement, ‘what he did is unacceptable and indefensible in our community’.  

On Azonnali, Gábor Kardos is certain that the resounding fall of a political icon will have no long-term political impact on Hungary’s future. Under normal conditions, he writes, the government should fall with him, but not in Hungary, which, Kardos believes, lacks the critical mass of self-conscious citizens ready to stand up for their rights. After all, he explains, not even the communist régime was overthrown by the citizenry, but crumbled because of the implosion of the Soviet Union.

On Index, political scientist Gábor Török puts the latest scandal into a sequence of several examples of debauchery and of family members of influential people who have enriched themselves. None of these have seriously dented the popularity of Fidesz, he remarks. Although many Fidesz supporters feel uneasy about such unseemly episodes, he continues, they feel that the Prime Minister is high above them. Nevertheless, after what happened to Mr Szájer in the Belgian capital, Fidesz’s legendary spin doctors will have a hard time communicating the government’s resistance to Brussels, or invoking the 2011 constitution –  written by Mr Szájer himself. The fate of the 2022 election is not yet sealed, Török concludes.


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