Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, the Párbeszéd party’s candidate for prime minister in the opposition’s primary election, outlined his election platform on Saturday, saying that Hungary was in need of “change and making amends” so that “a better life is not a privilege of just the top one percent of society”.
The country should serve “the 99 percent rather than a few”, Karácsony said, underscoring the need for a Hungary in which “upward mobility is easier and it is more difficult to fall into poverty”.
Karácsony said the “restoration of democracy” should be coupled with “justice and making amends for the legal, moral, and material damage caused by the majority in the past more than one decade”.
Hungary needs “another dethronement to repair a damaged and sick democracy,” he said, adding that “the throne should be removed from Hungarian politics so that being in power will no longer mean reign but service”.
“What we need is not just a changing of the guard or a rematch, but real change, accountability and compensation rather than revenge,” the mayor said. He added that he would not accept “politics being equal to corruption, irresponsibility, and showing off”.
“We must leave divisions behind so that Hungary can be reunited,” Karácsony said.
After the pandemic, the country will need “more sustainable and more humane policies”, he said. “The future will either be green or there will be no future at all,” Karácsony said, calling for a greater focus on green and social issues.
Concerning the opposition primary election, Karácsony said candidates “should not be competing to see who has the biggest vocabulary to defame the government”, but rather to determine “who is able to keep together and reinforce the opposition alliance”.
“We’re not looking for a leader of the opposition, but a person to lead the whole country,” he said.
Karácsony said the opposition needed the contributions of conservatives and liberals alike to stop “the one percent that has now lost all checks and balances”, and proposed a “Movement 99” to promote a change in Hungary “not in place of the parties but alongside them”.
Karácsony said his movement already had the support of personalities such as former state secretary Jozsef Angyan, philosopher Janos Kiss, former central bank governor Peter Akos Bod, sociologist Zsuzsa Ferge and actor-director Robert Alfoldi. He added that the movement was drafting a programme that would establish the directions for “a cohesive society and the rule of law”.