March 15 – Opposition parties hold joint demonstration
Hungary’s parliamentary opposition parties emphasised the importance of cooperation at a joint demonstration held on the occasion of the March 15 national holiday on Budapest’s Szabadsajtó (Freedom of the Press) Road on Friday.
Klára Dobrev, who heads the European parliamentary election list of the leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK), called for the establishment of a “normal, livable” Hungary, which she said required “clearing out the Orbán regime”.
She said everyone who is a patriot today must revolt against the Fidesz government. Revolts must break out in courtrooms, at schools by teachers and by everyone who can afford to do so because “there can be no deal with tyranny”, Dobrev said.
Those who still strike a deal with Orbán’s regime for the sake of their livelihood “destroy their own future”, she added.
Dobrev said Europe would be stronger and more united after the May European parliamentary election. She confirmed that her party considers the idea of a united states of Europe not a nightmare but a programme to be implemented, adding that the only question was whether Hungary would be part of it.
Independent MP Ákos Hadházy said that instead of talking too much and plotting against each other, the opposition parties needed to work and organise themselves, and instead of resignation they needed resolve and determination.
Hadházy said the opposition should delegate at least one inspector to every polling station in the European parliamentary elections and announced that opposition MPs will soon “blockade” the public television headquarters.
Péter Márki-Zay, mayor of Hódmezővásárhely and head of the Everyone’s Hungary Movement, said the governing politicians had “good reason” to be scared because something had changed. “Here and now, a national unity has been created,” he said.
Márki-Zay called on the parties to support the most suitable, preferably independent candidates, who can also attract votes from Fidesz voters in the autumn municipal election, instead of “party soldiers”.
Jobbik spokesman Péter Jakab said Orbán did not understand the message of March 15, saying that it was “not the holiday of the tyrant but of the people”.
He said Orbán was only out to eliminate Brussels, while “he has replaced freedom with servility, equality with inequality and fraternity with hate”.
LMP board member Szabolcs Turcsán said the opposition must turn its diversity into an advantage, because it can only succeed if it learns to engage in politics in a way that helps everyone.
Anett Bősz of the Liberal Party said today’s protestors had the same goals that 19th-century poet Sándor Petőfi had stood up for in 1848: press freedom, equality in front of the law and a responsible government.
Independent Student Parliament representative Dániel Kalló, who is fifth on the Socialist Party’s European parliamentary election list, said that as long as young people were not free to decide on their own futures, it would be stolen from them. Kalló said he did not believe that
young people had become disillusioned with politics, but rather that politics had become too distant from the people, especially the youth.
Anna Donáth, deputy leader of the opposition Momentum Movement, said that in order for a united opposition to be successful, the various parties had to identify values that could convince everyone that the parties want a better and fairer country.
Párbeszéd MEP Benedek Jávor said that in May’s EP elections, every voter would get the chance to send a message to the government that they favour Europe over “Eastern oppression” and freedom over tyranny.
The protestors filled Szabadsajtó Road between the foot of Elisabeth Bridge on the Pest side and Ferenciek Square — a distance of around 370m.
They carried national and EU flags and the flags of the various opposition parties could also be seen in the crowd. After the speeches, the protestors made their way to Kossuth Square, from where a smaller group started off towards the public media headquarters.
Featured image: MTI