21/09/2020 23:54

New Strategy of MSZP Adopted, Tóth and Kunhalmi Co-Presidents

New Strategy of MSZP Adopted, Tóth and Kunhalmi Co-Presidents
The new strategy of the party was adopted by the Congress of the Hungarian Socialist Party, Bertalan Tóth and Ágnes Kunhalmi were elected co-presidents on Saturday, chairman of the Ballot Counting Committee Tamás Mészáros reported on Saturday.

The two co-presidents said the goal of MSZP was clear: they want a change of government and a change of era. They want to build a state that creates opportunities, that gives everyone the opportunity to rise, gives them equal opportunities in education and healthcare, targets European standard wages and pensions, and eliminates the unfair distribution of wealth and income.

Congress has made clear decisions, they said. The new strategy adopted by the party defines the leftist values ​​that MSZP will strongly represent in the opposition negotiation talks for a change of government and will facilitate communication within the party for faster decision-making and increased responsiveness.

In his speech following his election victory, Bertalan Tóth highlighted three main points among the party's strategic tasks: eliminating fear, creating opportunities for everyone by eliminating injustices, and building instead of destroying.

“The hate policy of the past 10 years has caused a lot of damage in people’s minds, but the desire for solidarity, freedom, justice and equality still lives in the hearts of Hungarian people. We need to build our policies on this social need as these are left-wing values. It is us who represent these values,” he said.

“What kind of world is it where, the way things are going, people no longer dare to talk honestly with each other and the police can arrest anyone in their home at the crack of dawn and drag them in for a Facebook post?

We need to eradicate this fear,” he stressed, adding that they would fight for the independence of the judiciary, freedom of the press, the arts and education, the restoration of democracy and freedoms, legal certainty and the rule of law. He said they wanted this to be the first pillar of the joint program of the alliance of those who want a change of government.

Regarding the elimination of injustices, he said it was not right that the fate of a child is already decided by what kind of family they are born in; the wealthy get a better education and buy castles as adults, while the housing needed by most young people to start their own life is just a dream. It is not right that more than a million pensioners are forced to decide every day whether to buy medicine or food, that hundreds of thousands of people do not have access to healthcare, and that workers are exposed to capitalists by the state itself.

“We need to put an end to these injustices. We want to build a state that creates opportunities that provides equal opportunities for all, and promotes growth for all social strata; one that provides equal opportunities in education and healthcare. We want European standard wages and pensions that offer a livelihood; we must end the unfair distribution of assets and income,” he said.

Environmental destruction: contrary to the construction of Paks 2 and the expropriation of Lake Balaton and nature conservation areas, MSZP must build: “We must protect our common treasures and environment.”

“We want to build a world where there is freedom and legal certainty. A place our children do not want to leave, where everyone has a chance to make a living and live a better life; (…) where learning and healing do not count as luxury; where people pay attention to each other and there is solidarity. We want to live in a peaceful, calm and secure country,” he said.

Kunhalmi emphasized that the primary goal of the party was to achieve a democratic and social turn with a social democratic program, so that after the republics of 1918, 1946 and 1989, a new, 4th Republic of Hungary would be established, which “should not only be democratic but also social.”

She said she was proud that it was her party to initiate Hungary's accession to the European Union back in the day and that MSZP was the first party in the EU to propose a European minimum wage and minimum pension, and now a minimum European healthcare service.

She said, in 2011, Hungary was 23rd out of 28 member states in terms of GDP per capita, and has since made one step forward, but only because Britain left the EU.

She continued by claiming the European Union “will not save us, we must stand on our own feet” against Orbán’s national cooperation system (NCS), “but we Hungarians can save the European Union from Orbán in 2022.”

She said the EU was in transition, not in a crisis. It must face new health and environmental challenges, become social and green by joining forces, but not like the United States, “much more like the Federal Republic of Germany.

The two co-presidents and their team received 225 votes against 36 from 261 delegates in Congress, bringing the vote to 86%.

The deputy chairman of the party Imre Komjáthi also received 225 votes; the new vice-presidents are Zita Gurmai and Gyula Hegyi. Members of the presidential board are: Balázs Bárány, Dávid Bihal, Bence Eszik, József Halmi, András Horváth, József Király, Balázs Pollreisz, Csaba Tóth, Kata Tüttő and dr. László Varga.

István Hiller became caucus leader with 243 votes, 93%, while Tamás Harangozó was re-elected as the chairman of the National Ethics and Conciliation Committee with 235 votes, 90%.

The chairman and members of the National Council for Ethics and Disciplinary Affairs received 251 votes. The chairman is Dr. Zsolt Legény, the members of the council are: Dr. Adrienn Dobos, Judit Hajmási, Dr. Gergely Lóránd and Dr. Ildikó Papp.

The five members of the Supervisory Board are Sándor Andó, Edit Herczog, Dr. István Józsa, József Szabados and Imre Zágonyi with 253 votes; the alternate members were Dr. Zoltán Sztáray and Sándor Balogh.

Tóth thanked the congressional delegates for their extraordinary authorization to achieve the party’s goals and for holding the first online congress in the party’s history.

Kunhalmi called it an extraordinary honour to be the first woman co-president of MSZP.

She said the overwhelming amount of votes proves that the party is stable and its unity is unquestionable, and that MSZP has an unquestionable role in the cooperation for a change of government.