Budapest, February 23 (MTI) – Zoltan Kesz, the independent candidate backed by the left-wing parties, said after his by-election win on Sunday that “Veszprem voters have done what the country had asked of them”.
Kesz won Sunday’s by-election in western Hungary with 44.76 percent of the votes cast. Lajos Nemedi, the candidate of the governing Fidesz-Christian-Democrat alliance, received 33.64 percent of the votes, Andrea Varga-Damm, backed by the radical nationalist Jobbik party, won 14.14 percent and Ferenc Gerstmar of the green LMP party 4.57 percent.
Kesz told a press conference after the election win that Veszprem will be known as the “the city of common sense” from now on.
“I feel responsibility to give real criticism to the power-holders and I will,” he said.
Fidesz congratulated the winner in a statement and thanked its activists and voters.
Nemedi told a press conference late on Sunday that the results must be acknowledged and work must continue.
Jozsef Tobias, the leader of the Socialists’ local chapter, said the election was an example of “new social cooperation”. It is now clear that the Socialists can work together with civil organisations, while “insular” parties are doomed to failure, he said.
The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said the victory was a “message of change”, while Viktor Szigetvari, leader of the opposition Egyutt (Together) party, said the result returned hope that Hungarian politics can be built on “straight talk and honesty”.
The opposition Dialogue for Hungary (PM) called for early elections, insisting that Fidesz had lost the “moral ground” for governing.
The local representative of Jobbik said the results were “not a victory for the left but a debacle for Fidesz”.
The by-election was held to decide who takes up the parliamentary mandate of Tibor Navracsics, of the ruling Fidesz party, who became an EU commissioner in October last year.
Kesz’s election victory also means that the Fidesz-KDNP alliance will no longer have a two-thirds majority in parliament even if the government parties retain their mandate at an upcoming by-election in Tapolca on April 12.