Hungary is facing very serious social issues: the democratic opposition coalition has provided the right answers to many of them, but these messages have not reached everyone and not in the right way, said MSZP co-president Ágnes Kunhalmi in her assessment of the outcome of Sunday's parliamentary election on ATV's Straightforward Talk programme on Thursday evening.
The Socialist politician said that the responsibility does not lie with prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay alone, and it cannot be pretended "as if certain parties had not been there" in the coalition. She stressed that the defeat of the opposition was a common defeat, one of the main reasons for which, in her opinion, was war communication. "The moment the war broke out: 'We offer social security and peace'". We should have said this from the first moment," she underlined.
"Our social programme, social security - precisely because of the negative economic conditions caused by the war - that is, the protection of Hungarian families, was completely lost," Kunhalmi recalled, pointing out that Márki-Zay had started to advocate this line too late. She said she thought he had appealed more to the disillusioned Fidesz voters almost all the way through the campaign, but they only made up one per cent of the opposition.
The MSZP co-president assessed that while the left-wing electorate was somewhat shaken, the strategy of Márki-Zay failed to reach the majority of the undecided right-wing, but neither he nor Péter Jakab was solely responsible for this. She stressed that the democratic opposition must nevertheless remain united, as there is no alternative to a coalition that makes a better political offer and manages its resources better in the face of the emergence of a central force that shifts to the extreme right and Orbán's National Cooperation System (NER). "We must be very careful to keep this camp together," she added.
Asked about the renewal election of party officials, she said that after the final mandates are settled on Saturday, followed by any appeals, MSZP would hold such an election. This, she said, would be a test of her achievements as co-president and of all that she had achieved in the campaign and in her constituency.
"In my district, I did not keep referring to Putin, I emphasised social promises on how to protect people from the negative economic impacts of the war crisis. This is what I ask Orbán to do too (...) to change his EU policy enough to get the money to implement measures such as the increase in teachers' or health care wages, not just 10%, and to bring back the Swiss indexation for pensioners and reduce VAT on basic foodstuffs", the MSZP co-president stressed.