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Opposition loses by-elections

June 28th, 2022

The Mayor of Budapest calls the results of Sunday’s local by-elections throughout the country ‘disheartening’.

70 local by-elections were held on Sunday, as by-elections were suspended for the two years of the pandemic. Independent candidates were the winners in most cases, but Fidesz candidates scored easy victories in 16 of 18 districts where they ran for seats in local councils, albeit with an extremely low turnout. Even in the opposition stronghold of Budapest, 3 out of 4 by-elections to fill vacant seats in district councils were won by Fidesz candidates. Turnout hovered either side of 20 percent.

Népszava quotes a Facebook post by the Mayor of Budapest Gergely Karácsony who thinks voters stayed away from the polling stations to punish the opposition parties for their behaviour since their crushing defeat at the parliamentary elections on April 3. Opposition parties, he explains, have engaged in infighting ever since. Opposition supporters, Karácsony writes, stayed away from the election to register their dissatisfaction with their parties’ ambitions to defeat each other once they proved no match for Fidesz. The lesson Karácsony draws from the ‘appalling’ by-election results is that opposition parties should halt their tragic contest for the ‘title of the biggest of all small parties’.

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