07/02/2019 10:05

Primary Election: Beginning of Success and New Era

The leaders of MSZP and Dialogue evaluated the Sunday primary election of the mayor of Budapest as a success and the beginning a new era at their press conference in Budapest on Mondayand the Leaders of Dialogue on Monday.
The politicians also talked about a new era in opposition cooperation which shall begin on 18 February at the beginning of the spring parliamentary term.
Chairman of MSZP and caucus leader Bertalan Tóth called the primary election of the left-wing parties that ended on Sunday a clear success, attended by more than 34,000 voters.
He added that the unity needs further work, because the parties are also facing a European Parliamentary as well as a municipal election, but the primary election gives them strength. MSZP and Dialogue will fight for mayor- and MP candidates to be able to represent this unity in every settlement, he said.
Co-chair and caucus leader of Dialogue Tímea Szabó also appreciated the fact that with the "slave law" and the primary election, opposition cooperation had entered a new level. “Only with the closest possible cooperation can Viktor Orbán's government be replaced,” she said.
She also mentioned that on 18 February, at the first session of Parliament, a new era would start in opposition cooperation.
“Opposition parties will jointly show then that a new era will begin and they will do their utmost to preserve the unity,” she added.
Co-chair of Dialogue Gergely Karácsony, who, on Sunday, won the primary election of MSZP, DK, Dialogue and Solidarity against socialist Csaba Horváth by a large majority, said a new era had begun in politics. “We will break down the walls between opposition parties, which Fidesz is trying to rebuild all the time,” he said.
He added that they would also break down the wall between parties and voters, wanting to pursue politics whereby any voter who wants a change can experience that politics is not about politicians but about ordinary people and their problems.
He confirmed that the campaign for the coming months will be about giving power to the people in Budapest as opposed to the man of the powers that be, the procurator of Fidesz.
Gergely Karácsony said that they are continuing the negotiations aimed at creating complete unity of the opposition in Budapest. The goal is to find the most suitable challenger of the local Fidesz mayor in each district by March 15, he said.
Evaluating primary election participation data, he said that even in countries that have a historical tradition of primary election, such a turnout is common.
As to whether he assesses the fact that MSZP will not have its own candidate in the parliamentary or the municipal elections in October a success, Bertalan Tóth replied that the Socialist Party is working to create unity within the opposition. The primary election was a milestone in this process, the results of which they accept and support Gergely Karácsony.
To answer a question of regarding a possible second round of the primary election, Gergely Karácsony said he was adhering to an earlier agreement and that if there were any more challenging candidates after the EP election, he would face the challenge. “Everything must be done to ensure that the opposition gets to run "one on one" against the Fidesz candidate,” he added.