Voters must make a choice between “war and peace; danger and security”, in Sunday’s general elections, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, has said in a newspaper interview.
In the interview published by Magyar Hírlap on Friday, Gulyás said election turnout was a signal measure of democracy, and turnout had always been higher when Fidesz was in power. “Democracy is alive and stronger” with Fidesz, he said, urging voters to cast their ballot for the ruling alliance. He said the choice was also between moving forward, which had brought about “the greatest developments” since the change of political system in 1990, or “back to the government that led to the bankruptcy of 2002-2010”.
Referring to former Socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and the opposition parties, he said politicians “who destroyed the country … want to regain power”. Gulyás insisted that the united opposition’s prime ministerial candidate, Péter Márki-Zay, had shown himself during the campaign to be unfit for the job of prime minister.
He also accused the opposition of making statements that, if they were government policy, would make Hungary a warring party. He pledged that a Fidesz government would
“preserve the country’s peace and security”.
The minister said that the government at the same time had implemented a policy of strengthening Hungary’s armed forces, so their defence capabilities “are significantly higher than before”. Alongside the security guarantee of NATO membership, “we can provide the highest possible security for the country,” he said, adding that Márki-Zay’s words and actions, by contrast, endangered Hungarian security.
Referring to peace talks, the minister said:
“The Istanbul talks are perhaps the first ray of hope.”
Gulyás said Hungary’s standpoint on the war was grounded in international law. “Russia has attacked Ukraine, violating international law and the 1994 Budapest Memorandum in which Russia recognised Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” he said. Citing “international violations” that Ukraine had previously committed against national minorities, including the Hungarians, he said the war had not changed Hungary’s stance.
“We still expect Ukraine to restore … regulations on the use of the mother tongue in education,”
On the subject of European Union funding, Gulyás said Prime Minister Viktor Orban “fought for more than 100 billion forints in direct aid to Hungary in Brussels last week”. He added that Brussels would “stop breaking the law and we can agree on a recovery fund” after Sunday’s election. Regarding the seven-year budget, he said Hungary was “doing well”, and “constructive negotiations” were taking place.
Meanwhile, referring to the opposition, he said: “In 2020, the left aimed to rid itself of Ferenc Gyurcsány and quarantine Jobbik; today Gyurcsány is the leader of the strongest opposition party and wants to assume power in alliance with Jobbik.” This, he added, demonstrated that the opposition lacked principles and the ability to reinvent itself.