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Sceptical comments on Péter Magyar’s new movement

March 19th, 2024

Commentators predict no real prospects of success for the one-person movement launched by former Justice Minister Judit Varga’s divorced husband.

After his former wife withdrew from public life in the wake of the paedophile pardon scandal (see BudaPost, February 13), Mr Magyar resigned from his various posts in public enterprises and gave a series of interviews accusing the government of widespread corruption and disingenuous propaganda. On 15 March he spoke to a crowd of tens of thousands announcing the birth of a new movement (‘Stand Up Hungarians!’) and a future centrist party which might run for the European Parliamentary elections in June.

In a video round table on the Jelen webpage, András Hont, an independent journalist expressed doubts about Mr Magyar’s credibility, characterising him as someone who after having been ‘maintained by Orbán’ is now seeking the favours of left-wing pensioners. He takes Magyar’s announcement to run for the European elections in June as another sign of his unseriousness, as the electoral law only admits candidates from parties that already existed on the day when the date of the election was announced by the President of the Republic.

In Népszava, Zoltán Batka points out that Magyar drew more people to the streets on March 15 than the pro-government side and all the opposition parties combined. He attributed Péter Magyar’s unexpected success so far to his ‘greyness’. There is huge demand, he explains, for people who simply want to address the county’s problems rather than constantly vituperating against the other side. That doesn’t make the crowd that applauded Magyar a community, he remarks, adding however that what has been described by political observers as generalised disinterest in politics, is apparently just disgust with the present political setup.

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