A historic victory has taken place in Budapest, Gergely Karácsony said after winning the Budapest municipal election on Sunday.
“This victory is about a green and free Budapest,” the joint opposition candidate for the capital’s mayor said.
Karácsony said October 14 would mark the start of a new era for Hungary in its quest to regain its freedom.
He said the victory was not his or the opposition parties’ but that of Budapesters who were fighting to win back the capital.
He noted that outgoing mayor István Tarlós had phoned to congratulate him, and Karácsony said he had thanked Tarlós for his work in office to date.
Karácsony pledged to put relations between the capital and the government on a new footing. He added that he would not be preparing for war but for even-handed cooperation with the Hungarian government.
Tarlós, who was greeted with a standing ovation at Fidesz’s election headquarters on the banks of the Danube, thanked the “entire community” of Budapesters who had voted for him, as well as the capital and its third district for the years he had served as their mayor.
“At a national level, the result is nice, but we need to pause to think about Budapest,” he said, commenting on the results of the election.
“There’s nothing to say; this is how Budapest voted today,” Tarlós said. “The capital elected Gergely Karácsony and from midnight he’ll be Budapest’s mayor.”
“Thank you for the opportunity to be among you,” the outgoing mayor said, adding that he would “not forget” the 29-30 years he had spent as part of Budapest’s leadership.
“At 70 years of age, these things happen, but it’ll get better,” Tarlós concluded.