Opposition parties working to further own positions

With just a few months to go until Hungary’s general election, the leaders of neither the leftist opposition Democratic Coalition nor Jobbik are concerned with winning in the spring, but are instead focused on furthering their own positions within the opposition, a political scientist said on Monday.

Speaking to public news channel M1, Béla Galló said Jobbik’s change of image with a focus on becoming a people’s party had been too sudden and lacked credibility. It has not brought them any gains in the polls and some members making up the party’s radical “old guard” had even revolted against Gábor Vona’s attempt to move Jobbik towards the centre, Galló said.

He said business magnate Lajos Simicska’s alleged financial backing of Jobbik had been in vain because the party had misread the political situation in the country and was far from being a contender to ruling Fidesz.

Galló said the situation among the opposition was playing out according to the script of Democratic Coalition leader Ferenc Gyurcsány. Gyurcsány is a good “political power player” and wants to prove his own and his party’s strength, Galló said.

He said that for Gyurcsány, the election was not about challenging Prime Minister Viktor Orbán but rather about ensuring “the best chances of survival” for his party.

Assessing the political landscape ahead of the election, Galló said it looked like the election would be contested between a well-organised “army” with a leader and a leaderless collection of “free groups”. He said the opposition did not even accept Párbeszéd co-leader Gergely Karácsony as a joint candidate for prime minister.

Featured image: MTI