Election 2018 – Socialists-Párbeszéd urge opposition cooperation
The allied Socialist and Párbeszéd parties have urged cooperation within the “democratic” opposition in light of the results of Sunday’s interim municipal election in Hódmezővásárhely, in southern Hungary.
The message of the Hódmezővásárhely election, won by an independent with opposition support, is that an able candidate can defeat ruling Fidesz if turnout at the polls is high, Gergely Karácsony, PM candidate of the Socialist-Párbeszéd alliance told a press conference on Monday. He added that “votes must not be divided up” but cast for the candidate with the highest support.
Socialist leader Gyula Molnár referred to the opposition victory in Hódmezővásárhely as a “serious blow” to Fidesz, and voiced concern that the ruling party might “launch a series of ignoble attacks” on cooperating adversaries. Molnár suggested that an agreement concerning jointly supported candidates should be reached before March 15, ahead of the April 8 general election. He said the Socialists have been “ready to give up positions” and cooperate with other parties to facilitate a government change. He also noted that one third of the Socialists were not party members.
Answering questions about possible cooperation with Jobbik, Karácsony said he saw no opportunity for an “organised cooperation” with that party, and added that “it was up to the wisdom of voters to decide which candidate has better chances”. He also said that
the candidate with the highest support “should stand to the left from Fidesz rather than to the right”.
Karácsony added, however, that “Jobbik could also support independent candidates supported by Socialists-Párbeszéd”.
Concerning the LMP party, Karácsony said that “LMP supporters could soon start demonstrating at LMP’s headquarters” if their party is reluctant to cooperate with other parties. He went on to say that “the same applies to other small parties” and added that his alliance was open to join forces with them, too. LMP has some candidates “who could represent the whole of the democratic opposition with the highest chances to win”.