Budapest, March 13 (MTI) – Hungary’s political parties expressed mixed views of parliament’s re-election of János Áder for another five-year term as president of the republic on Monday.
The co-ruling Christian Democrats said Áder’s record as president guaranteed that he would continue to prioritise bettering the lives of Hungarians and protecting the environment while in office. The party said it was counting on Áder’s help in meeting “the numerous unexpected and unpredictable challenges we meet each day”, and urged the president to “have his voice heard” and safeguard the rule of law in Hungary.
Opposition Jobbik said neither of the two candidates was fit to serve as president. János Volner, the party’s parliamentary group leader, explained that the reason why his group stayed away from the vote was that they prefer that the president of the republic be elected directly by the public. Volner said neither Áder nor Majtényi was able to represent the unity of the nation, arguing that both were committed to a given set of political views as opposed to being above political parties. He branded the vote a “facade” the result of which he said was a foregone conclusion.
Opposition LMP said there had been nothing tangible “to react to” either in Áder’s activities as president over his past term or in the content of his parliamentary speech. Co-leader Ákos Hadházy told a press conference that Majtényi’s address indicated to him that someone serving in the post of president does have a room for manoeuvre allowing him to initiate a legislation or even a referendum. If national unity and environment protection would be really important for Áder, he should have been the first to initiate a referendum on the Paks upgrade project, he said.
Liberal leader Gabor Fodor said he expected Ader to act as a more ardent advocate of freedom rights and the rule of law than he was during his previous term. He congratulated Ader on his party’s behalf but called on the newly elected president to be more vocal concerning the Paks upgrade project, violations of the freedom of the press, poverty and the “hate campaign” against migrants. Fodor said his party was “proud” of Majtenyi, who clearly represented the principles championed by the liberals themselves.
The opposition Dialogue party called Majtenyi the “moral winner” of Monday’s election, a candidate who had shouldered the task of representing values of the republic amid a “hate campaign” waged against him. He was a candidate who continued to speak for eradicating graft, maintaining democracy and preserving the nation’s unity, while also being an advocate for eliminating poverty and social inequality, Dialogue said in a statement. The party’s two leaders criticised the newly elected president for his failure to address in his speech the current “shattered” state of democracy, deepening poverty and spreading corruption. Nor did he speak of the “nefarious laws forced through parliament by the governing parties” he had signed without a wink, such as the classification as state secret of the Paks upgrade project and further moves to “squash” the election system, it said.
Speaking after the parliamentary vote which re-elected Áder for another five-year term, Kósa insisted that the ruling parties’ candidate had based his address on “examples of national unity”, including Hungarian-Serbian reconciliation, while Majtényi “who called for avoiding divisions, addressed all but supporters of the government.”
Although Majtényi spoke about a lack of freedom of expression, he could address parliament as an opposition candidate and his speech was broadcast live by public television, Kósa said.
Áder was re-elected as president of the republic earlier today with 131 votes while Majtényi was backed by 39 lawmakers.