Budapest, March 30 (MTI) – About 80,000 people gathered for a demonstration by the left alliance of five parties in front of the Opera House in Budapest today, the organisers said.
Hungarian freedom and Hungarian democracy are still alive, Ferenc Gyurcsany, who heads the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK), said at the demonstration. “Hungarian freedom is not for sale. We won’t give it to the prime minister, we won’t give it to his party, because we owe it to ourselves, to our children and to our grandchildren,” the former prime minister said. “We will send Orban to where he belongs, to the dustbin of history and politics,” Gyurcsany said. Gyurcsany told his supporters that they were Hungarians who understand that the country’s 1,000 years of struggle are about moving toward the west, not the east.
“Let Orban go east, if he wants, we will go west.”
Also addressing the demonstration, Gabor Fodor, the leader of the Liberal Party, said that the general election on April 6 would be an opportunity to choose “between the east and the west, between Moscow and Brussels, and between captivity and freedom”. The ruling Fidesz party has sided with those limiting freedom and wants to make Hungarians servants; Fidesz hates freedom and competition, Fodor said. “They want to take away our freedom, but we won’t allow that,” he said, adding that the left alliance wants press freedom and a close alliance with Europe. He said that those people who gathered for the Fidesz rally on Saturday at Heroes’ Square are part of the Hungarian nation.
“But in order for us to extend to them a hand, we must first defeat them.”
Timea Szabo, the co-chair of the E14-PM electoral alliance, said that there was no chance of representing vulnerable Hungarians and members of the next generations “as long as Hungary is ruled by Viktor Orban.” She said their allies were not Russian President Putin, but those Hungarians who want change.
“Viktor Orban must be stopped, because if he continues to rule for another four years, Hungary will become a Russian colony once and for all.”
Gordon Bajnai, who heads the E14-PM electoral alliance, said anybody who stayed at home on April 6 or would not vote for the left alliance, would really cast a vote for Viktor Orban. The election results depend on those people who did not come to the opposition demonstration, he said. In spite of the turpitude of the regime, there is still a foothold in the country where there is a republic, where Orban must fear you and not you him: the voting booth, Bajnai said. “Whoever doesn’t want to fear for another four years, overcome your fear for an hour, go out and vote for a change of government,” he told the demonstrators. Only the alliance’s joint list and candidates can “dismantle” the government’s super-majority, he added.
Attila Mesterhazy, Socialist leader and the alliance’s candidate for prime minister, promised the demonstrators genuine workplaces, honest wages, an economic policy that supports growth and just social policy. He said that while Fidesz wants a new party-state, the left wants a republic, a modern European Hungary. He said the Orban government had brought impoverishment, emigration and fear, building on the country’s worst traditions. He called the government “Horthyist” in terms of ideology, “feudalist” in approach and “Bolshevik” in view of their exercise of power.
In a statement released after the demonstration, governing Fidesz said the “desperate accusations of hopeless politicians” had been heard at the event. The party added that nobody from the “Gyurcsany coalition” had yet answered the question of where Gabor Simon’s hundreds of millions of forints had come from, referring to foreign accounts belonging to the disgraced former Socialist deputy chairman.
A spokeswoman for radical nationalist Jobbik said the demonstration showed the left alliance has no programme and only hate cements the group. Dora Duro said fresh reports of more foreign bank accounts belonging to Gabor Simon were proof of the Socialists’ crime syndicate.