Hungarian opposition closer to uniting in key Budapest electoral district

On Easter Monday, six days before national elections, András Fekete-Győr of Momentum announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy in Central Budapest in favour of Márta Naszályi of the Hungarian Socialist Party – Párbeszéd alliance (MSZP-P)–the strongest opposition candidate. Mr. Fekete-Győr followed in the footsteps of Péter Juhász of Együtt, who withdrew last week. Central Budapest, known in Hungarian as the Belváros, is what one could call a swing riding. It is currently held by Fidesz, but can be won by the left-centre opposition if there is a single candidate. It is one of those ridings where the left-centre and liberal parties do not need to strike an alliance with Jobbik to beat Fidesz. As it stands there is only one candidate who stands in the way of what could very possibly be an opposition victory in this electoral district–namely Antal Csárdy of Politics Can Be Different (LMP).

Based on the results of an opinion poll commissioned by Momentum prior to its decision to withdraw from the race in this district, the party/candidate standings in Central Budapest were (without Mr. Fekete-Győr’s candidacy and also assuming that LMP withdraws in the coming days):

  • István Hollik (FIDESZ): 33%
  • Márta Naszályi (MSZP-P): 29%
  • Pál Losonczy (Jobbik): 10%

The local poll includes 1,200 responses collected by Medián. A larger than usual number of Hungarians who are concealing their voting intentions will make the difference in this electoral district, as well as in many others both in Budapest and across Hungary.

“It is the duty of every candidate to demolish the Fidesz regime and to accomplish this, we must also defeat István Hollik in Central Budapest,” remarked Mr. Győr-Fekete, after withdrawing.

Gergely Karácsony and Márta Naszályi

To give our readers a taste of the distasteful language and narrative used in the Fidesz media, after Momentum’s candidate withdrew, Origo’s headline read: “After the demise of the woman-beater Juhász, Fekete-Győr obeyed Soros.” Origo calls Mr. Fekete-Győr “pathetic as usual” and refers to him as a “little boy in a middle school drama class performing on Mother’s Day.” As always, no journalist from Origo gave his/her name to this thoroughly repulsive article. Origo’s journalists incorrectly believe that they will have a future as journalists in an eventual post-Orbán Hungary, despite their track record.

But the fact that Origo was so vicious in its anonymous article following Mr. Fekete-Győr’s withdrawal is telling. Fidesz and the ruling party’s servile media know that widespread withdrawals among opposition candidates across the country in favour of the most popular Anybody-But-Fidesz candidate can push Fidesz into minority territory on 8 April. Gergely Karácsony, the candidate for prime minister for the Socialists and Párbeszéd, promised that more withdrawals are coming on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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