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Opposition braces for next year’s election

March 1st, 2021

As opinion polls put the opposition parties combined at just over 50 per cent of probable voters, pundits in left-liberal weeklies ponder their chances and the tools available to them, to defeat Fidesz next year.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Árpád W. Tóta welcomes the decision taken by the disparate forces of the opposition to hold primaries in all hundred and six individual constituencies. One advantage he identifies in this solution is that the primary campaigns are likely to eliminate those candidates who have hidden deficiencies either in their personal or professional lives. He admits that by campaigning against each other, potential opposition candidates might harm their chances in the election itself. On the other hand, he continues, their campaign messages will reverberate in the media, including the pro-government outlets, which after all will raise public interest and perhaps even boost turnout. The very fact that on the opposition side voters have a choice, while government candidates are chosen by the party headquarters, may turn out to be a positive message, he believes.

In Magyar Hang, György Pápai doesn’t deem it absolutely necessary for the opposition to hold primaries in all hundred and six individual constituencies. Over half of these, he explains, are strongholds of either the opposition or the government side – and there are perhaps only 30 to 40 swing constituencies. The latter are the real battlefield on which the outcome of the election hinges, Pápai writes. Therefore, he suggests to the opposition to concentrate its resources on those, while supporting independent candidates in the constituencies where it has no chance to win, hoping that they might produce a surprise in an otherwise apparently hopeless battle.

In Jelen, the left-wing former constitutional court judge Imre Vörös argues that in case the opposition wins the election next year, it should bypass the existing constitutional framework. He describes the current situation as undemocratic and designed to perpetuate one-party rule, a system defined by the fundamental law itself as unconstitutional. To bolster his argument, he mentions certain posts and bodies which are vital in running the country, but which have been filled by the overwhelming Fidesz parliamentary majority with their own people. The Budget Board, for example, could prevent a new budget from coming into force, making it impossible for the new government to govern in the way it deems fit. He therefore suggests that the new Parliament should eliminate those obstacles by abolishing the system of pivotal laws which now require a two thirds majority in Parliament to be amended. To do so, he continues, Parliament should revoke the right of the Constitutional Court to scrap laws, because the Constitutional Court has not fulfilled its job in doing so, he claims. He admits that changing the status of the Constitutional Court would require two thirds of parliamentary mandates, but deems this indispensable nonetheless, because otherwise the new government elected by the majority of the people would find it impossible to implement its own programme.


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