Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Weeklies on growing interest in Péter Magyar

April 15th, 2024

As the new opposition star is apparently drawing more and  more followers, praise and criticism are also becoming stronger and more frequent.

In Magyar Hang, Szabolcs Szerető finds that Péter Magyar has already brought about a change in Hungarian political life, and the only question remaining is how far that change will go. Magyar’s new party may well profit from the country’s increasing financial and economic difficulties as well as its growing international isolation, he suggests. However, Szerető adds, politics is not a one-man show and even a small group of people cannot change its course. Real change would require the mobilisation of masses of Hungarians, otherwise Péter Magyar might well end up as one more fallen Hungarian hero.

In Élet és Irodalom, former diplomat György Odze takes up Magyar’s defence against fellow liberals who reject him because he is very much unlike them. He is not ’our’ man, he writes, adding however that is not ’their’ man either. Odze calls on the liberal opposition to stand up for Magyar, because of the goal of defeating Prime Minister Orbán unites them and also because he is the target of ’crude’ pro-government propaganda campaign.

In Jelen, Zoltán Lakner expects the European Parliamentary elections in June to yield Fidesz perhaps its worst electoral result in 14 years. At any rate, he believes, none of the participants will get what they’re after. The Democratic Coalition may well see its dominance within the opposition camp evaporate, while Magyar’s supporters will have to face up to the fact that the old opposition they want to replace will not vanish. These two sides of the opposition will then be faced with the strategic question of how to combine their efforts to defeat each other, with their shared goal of defeating Fidesz.

In a similar vein in Heti Világgazdaság, Árpád W. Tóta warns Magyar that he is not the only anti-government player in the field. He finds it impossible to erase the Democratic Coalition, as the DK as well as its allies, the MSZP and Párbeszéd are well entrenched with a clear political identity – tas the Hungarian Left. At the end of the day, he concludes, Magyar will have to choose between his two foes – namely, he will have to opt for the least worst one.

On the pro-government side, Tamás Pindroch suggests in Mandiner that Magyar is just one of a series of left-wing messiahs doomed to failure. Left-wing opinion makers enthusiastically welcomed Ferenc Gyurcsány, then Gordon Bajnai, followed by the founders of Momentum, Péter Márki-Zay and even former Jobbik leader Vona, he recalls, adding that he doesn’t see why Magyar’s fate should be different from theirs. Politics is a long-distance race, he writes, and Magyar has been mistakenly behaving like a sprinter, which means his efforts will peter out fairly soon.

In Demokrata, political analyst Ágoston Sámuel Mráz attributes Magyar’s sudden popularity to long-brewing dissatisfaction within the left-wing electorate. On the other hand, he expects the pro-government camp to mobilise to face the challenge. Fringe supporters, he explains, tend to remain passive when the political mood is lukewarm, because they don’t feel that their votes are really needed. Now however, as Viktor Orbán is under attack, he predicts that Fidesz voters who have wavered over the past few months will become politically more active and stand-up in support of their party.

Tags: , , ,