László Botka
László Botka PM candidate of left-wing opposition resigned in October claiming that he misjudged “how badly the political mafia of Fidesz has infested the democratic opposition”.

Taxes will be reduced for everyone earning below 600,000 forints (EUR 1950) a month if the opposition Socialists enter government, the party’s prime ministerial candidate László Botka said in an interview published in weekly 168 óra on Thursday.

The tax cut is part of the party’s programme to be launched this autumn, he added and confirmed that it also includes the introduction of 13th month pensions.

When 96 percent of the Socialist congress voted in favor of his nomination, his new programme was also accepted by that margin and now constitutes a part of the party’s official directive and strategy, Botka said.

He said he would not tolerate any form of “treason” and collaboration with ruling Fidesz.

“If we decide on something together and then someone openly criticises this in the press a month later, that constitutes treason”, he added.

In reaction to Socialist board member Zsolt Molnár’s statements at blog site sztarklikk.hu, where Molnár suggested that efforts should be dropped to convince green opposition LMP to cooperate with other parties and that the Socialists should not dispute that Democratic Coalition (DK) leader Ferenc Gyurcsány’s place is in parliament, Botka said that these remarks are against the Socialists’ interests. Gyurcsány has already given up on the general election of 2018 but wants to restore his earlier position in the Socialist Party and return as the opposition’s main leader in 2022, he insisted.

“I have resisted and will continue to resist to all forms of blackmail which aims to force me and the Socialists to enter a bad alliance,” Botka said.

At the same time, he said he seeks to come to an agreement with DK.

He confirmed that 106 joint individual candidates will be needed and a joint list will have to be drawn up. There are two main players in this election, with Prime Minister Viktor Orban standing against democrats who want a change in government. New players will not help the change of government but to keep Orban in power, he added.

“Voters cannot be fooled. If they do not see unity and dedication on the side of the democrats, they will seek something else,” he said and added that keeping this responsibility in mind, he is inviting all those wanting a change to the negotiating table.

He promised to carry on with his policies even if the alliance with other left-wing opposition parties fails.

In response to public opinion polls showing that the Socialists have not increased support since he became their prime ministerial candidate, Botka said everything progresses according to plan and there is no chance for fast change according to researchers.

The Socialists will launch a new campaign in August and visit dozens of locations to convince people of their ability to govern, he added.

As we wrote yesterday, support for the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance increased while for three opposition parties weakened in the second quarter of the year.

Source: MTI/168 Óra

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