Budapest, May 29 (MTI) – Attila Mesterhazy resigned from his posts of Socialist Party chairman and parliamentary group leader today.
He said he would not compete for the post of party leader in the upcoming re-election of officials.
Mesterhazy said he assumed full responsibility for his party’s crushing defeats in the general election on April 6 and the European elections on May 25.
“In view of my responsibility to the Socialists, I have made this decision to enable the party’s national board on Saturday to make a decision in line with the statutes, taking into consideration the interests of the local council elections,” he said. He added that he would fully support the Socialist Party and its new leader.
According to the opposition E-PM, the results of the recent European election have created a new situation in which all leftist parties should reconsider their own position and elect new officials, E-PM’s Gergely Karacsony told a press conference. He added, however, that the E-PM alliance does not wish to comment on internal affairs of other parties.
Andras Schiffer, co-leader of green LMP, called Mesterhazy a fair political opponent, and said that his resignation could be expected in light of the Socialists’ poor performance in the EP election. He added that he thought it was not Mesterhazy alone who should be blamed for the “hopeless-looking” situation the Socialists were in, but also the party’s previous governments and “veteran Socialists Mesterhazy inherited”.
Schiffer also said that the Socialists could never defeat the ruling Fidesz party by cooperating with such politicians as former Socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, or Gordon Bajnai, Gyurcsany’s successor.
Spokesman for the Democratic Coalition, Zsolt Greczy said his party, headed by Gyurcsany, was interested in the Socialist Party’s finding a way out of its crisis, but declined to make any further comments.
The left-wing alliance which included the Socialists received 26 percent support in the general election and the Socialists acquired only two mandates at the European parliamentary elections.
The ruling Fidesz party said that following Mesterhazy’s resignation, the two other leaders of Hungary’s left wing, Ferenc Gyurcsany and Gordon Bajnai, should follow suit.
“[T]hey are just as responsible for the left-wing’s disastrous drubbing…” Mate Kocsis, the party’s communication’s chief told a news conference. He added that “Gyurcsany is the real boss of the left wing,” and he should take his fair share of the blame.
Photo: MTI – Attila Kovacs