The opposition’s joint candidate for Budapest mayor, Gergely Karácsony, promised on Thursday to free Budapest from the “captivity” of ruling Fidesz’s scheme dubbed system of national cooperation (NER) as part of a five-point plan.
He told a press conference held in front of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s office that the capital must be removed from “NER captivity”. He said NER was a fulcrum of corruption, cynicism and deception instead of cooperation across the nation.
Karácsony promised to impose a new tax on the owners of property worth more than 500 million forints. He also said he would ban the Fidesz-linked freesheet Lokál from Budapest and replace it with a free party-neutral paper financed by the local council.
He also promised to introduce strict transparency, making the contracts of local councils and their companies public.
He also vowed to file a lawsuit in connection with the project to revamp Metro 3, saying new trains had been purchased rather than refurbished. He said for the same money, vastly more modern equipment could have been bought and the company commissioned to carry out the revamp had not properly fulfilled the contract.
Also, Karácsony promised to start a social dialogue on drafting a “Budapest constitution” because “Hungary currently does not have a constitution, only a fundamental law which is not respected even by those that approved it”.
László Böröcz, the deputy leader of the Fidesz parliamentary group, said in response to Karacsony’s press conference that while attacking the incumbent mayor of Budapest, Istvan Tarlos, the opposition candidate was “unfit even to run a district”. He accused Karácsony, who is currently the mayor of the Zugló district of Budapest, of trying to conceal Zugló’s real financial situation.