Hungarian leftists ready to cooperate with Jobbik
Gergely Karácsony, PM candidate of the Socialist-Párbeszed alliance, and Ferenc Gyurcsány, leader of the Democratic Coalition (DK), on Thursday voiced support for opposition cooperation which embraced the Jobbik party.
Speaking at a commemoration of the 1848 revolution organised by the opposition parties in Fovam Square in downtown Budapest, Gyurcsány said it was necessary to talk to Jobbik “not about election cooperation or about a joint government but about the cooperative way to pull down [Prime Minister] Viktor Orbán’s evil system in the next parliament”. “There is no point in applying tactics or being polite; we must negotiate and come to an agreement,” Gyurcsány said. He announced that his party would unilaterally withdraw its prime ministerial candidate in favour of Bernadett Szél, the green opposition LMP’s candidate.
Gyurcsány insisted that no single opposition party could defeat ruling Fidesz on its own, but they would be strong together.
“What are we waiting for? Let us utilise the strength of the majority,” he said.
Democratic parties should agree to field just one candidate, the one with the highest chance of winning in each consituency, he said. “Coming to a consensus is not an option but an obligation; old grievances or earlier disputes no longer have relevance,” he insisted, adding that “we must come to an agreement”.
Gyurcsány invited the leaders of Socialists-Párbeszéd, LMP, and Jobbik for talks on Sunday afternoon.
Karácsony, referring to Jobbik, said it was “possible to make an alliance with the devil”. He said he was ready to unilaterally withdraw Socialist-Parbeszed candidates in individual constituencies. He added:
“We will trammel the parties to create a wider alliance.”
He insisted that a pact with the devil was necessary “in order not to be subsumed by the devil”.
The Parbeszed co-leader said that “after the change of government, the governing alliance will start a quiet revolution in health, education, and the jobs market.”
Ágnes Kunhalmi, head of the Socialist Party’s Budapest chapter, told the crowd that “nobody can do it alone” and pointed to the necessity of cooperation. She added, however, that “democrats will couple with democrats” and insisted that democracy could not be rebuilt in cooperation with “cute sham-democrats”. Jobbik, she said, “is not a solution but part of the problem”. “Each vote for Jobbik will be wasted and will help Viktor Orbán,” Kunhalmi said.
Liberal Party executive Anett Bősz said her party was working to rebuild democratic rule of law in Hungary, “where anyone has opportunities in line with their talents and efforts, where there is no retaliation for criticising the government and where there are no illegal perks for friends or the son-in-law of the prime minister.”
MP Szabolcs Szabó, representing Egyutt, said voters who wanted “authoritarian and thieving Fidesz to disappear from government” were in the majority. He also called on opposition politicians to cooperate.
Meanwhile, Jobbik manager Gábor Szabó said in a statement that his party will not take part in Sunday’s talks initiated by the Democratic Coalition.