András Schiffer berates “fake left” ahead of municipal elections

András Schiffer, leader of Politics Can Be Different (LMP), a small green party, which just barely passed the 5% hurdle needed for representation in Parliament during national elections in April, berated the more prominent left-centre opposition parties and added that a decent opposition result in Sunday’s municipal vote was critical, if Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is to be ousted from office in 2018. “Sunday’s local elections will decide not only the leadership of each locality, but also the kind of opposition Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will face over the next four years,” observed Mr. Schiffer.

“The fake left has left its voters in the lurch,” Mr. Schiffer added, suggesting that the Socialists, Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition (DK) and the Együtt-PM alliance were unfit to remove the country’s authoritarian prime minister, as they were the ones–through their political incompetence–who ultimately helped him attain a second two-thirds majority. Speaking in the western Hungarian town of Kaposvár, Mr. Schiffer added that only LMP offers voters this coming Sunday a real left-wing alternative to the government.

Mr. Schiffer in Kaposvár, alongside Frigyes Felder, LMP's candidate for mayor in the town. Photo: Andrea Gecsei/LMP

Mr. Schiffer in Kaposvár, alongside Frigyes Felder, LMP’s candidate for mayor in the town. Photo: Andrea Gecsei/LMP

Hungarians vote Sunday, October 12th, in municipal elections across the country. For the first time since the fall of communism in 1989, mayors and councillors are being elected for five year terms, rather than for just four years. A total of 8,142 candidates are running for mayor in Hungarians cities, towns and villages. Fidesz-KDNP is widely expected by pollsters to not only win Budapest’s mayoral race, but also a majority of districts in the capital and the bulk of rural towns. Many of the candidates in villages are not affiliated with any party.

The pro-regime Nézőpont Intézet polling firm (which has published far more polls than any other firm in the lead-up to the vote), predicts that István Tarlós, the Fidesz-KDNP candidate for lord mayor in Budapest, will win 52% of the vote, in contrast to just 25% for Lajos Bokros, the joint candiate for Együtt-PM, DK and the Budapest wing of MSZP. Nézőpont also predicts that Fidesz-KDNP will win in 14 Budapest districts, in contrast to left-wing opposition victories in 8 boroughs.

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