Voters will decide in Sunday’s local elections if their towns and cities have able leaders, the prime minister said on Sunday, after he cast his ballot in Budapest’s 12th district.
Speaking to reporters, Viktor Orbán said he had voted for István Tarlós, incumbent Budapest mayor, and asked the city’s residents to follow suit.
Orbán said the election campaign went “sharply separated” from national politics, with the strongest focus on local candidates in comparison with previous local election campaigns over the past 30 years.
Orbán said that democracy has several legs, one of which is self-government. Besides having a central government, it is just as important that voters give people trusted by the public a mandate to manage affairs close to them, he added.
Asked about Zsolt Borkai, incumbent mayor of Győr, who has recently appeared in video footage in connection with acts of sexual impropriety, Orbán said he supported “the people of Győr” who “are giving their opinion today”.
Opposition party leaders also cast their votes in the local elections on Sunday.
Bertalan Tóth, leader of the Socialist Party, said opposition parties were fighting in an alliance “to oust the local governors of (ruling) Fidesz”. “People now have the opportunity to vote in order to change their lives and build free cities, towns and villages.
The next step is to have a free Hungary,” he said, after casting his ballot in Pécs, in southern Hungary.
Péter Jakab, group leader of nationalist Jobbik, called Sunday’s election a historic chance to defeat ruling Fidesz.
“The ballot is not only about Fidesz, but about Hungary as a whole. Fidesz has built up its two-thirds majority in the local governments and that is where dismantling this majority can begin,” Jakab said in north-eastern Hungary’s Miskolc.
János Kendernay, co-leader of LMP, asked people to cast their votes “to restore Hungary’s integrity and allow serving the public again”, in Budapest.
Klára Dobrev, MEP of the Democratic Coalition (DK), expressed hope in Budapest that villages and towns, as well as EU funds, could be “taken back” from Fidesz.