Index.hu writes about the current relationship between the two major parties of Hungary, elaborating why Fidesz is not working on destroying MSZP: they realized that, in order to win in the 2018 elections, they need the presence of a moderately strong opposition in every precinct.
Over the past few months a narrative regarding a secret relationship and possible deal-making has been in the talks, including that Fidesz undercovers might work in MSZP. The theory was partially mentioned in public by politicians and political scientists, including Tibor Szanyi of MSZP, who talked to Magyar Narancs about colleagues collaborating with NER whose interests belong to the current status quo.
Index has talked to politicians of both parties about the reality of such a narrative, whether Fidesz members do actually have authority inside MSZP or not. They found out that usually there are so-called neutrality contracts between politicians by which neither of them criticize the other in public, or they agree on mutual information sharing, but sometimes they cooperate out of business purposes or help each other’s people to get a job.
Yet, despite such personal cooperations, it is highlighted that Fidesz is not controlling MSZP from the inside. This point is supported by the quota-campaign during which chaos occurred in the communication of the Socialists, caused by mistakes and not by deliberate self-sacrifice for the sake of Fidesz. Also, it seems that the favourable tendency for Fidesz would be to fight against someone and encourage voters to vote for them instead of another party.
A member of Fidesz told Index that many people in the party started to realize that they need the Socialist Party in order to become able to win the elections in 2018, so they rather let MSZP get stronger and confront them only on a few fronts. Fidesz needs to avoid letting their non-supporters vote for the same party of opposition because in over half of the 106 precincts the opposition altogether (left-wing and Jobbik) has more supporters than Fidesz.
According to the calculations of Heti Válasz, discussed by Index, Jobbik would get 15 mandates, while MSZP and the rest would win 31 mandates, which are altogether 46 out of 106 and could endanger the absolute majority of Fidesz. Therefore, the interest of Fidesz is certainly to maintain the central power by applying the ‘Divide et impera’ strategy. Thus, the party does not have to be supported by more than 50% in each precincts, it is just enough if its opponents stay weaker and divided.
However, neither of the opposition members should get too weak, because in that case the supporters of that party and haters of Fidesz could join their forces and vote for the candidate of the strongest opposition party out of tactics. In order to avoid that, Fidesz would try to strengthen the Socialists by, for example, reacting to their public statements, which might give more significance to the opposition’s candidate.
One way to ensure that is to take over the control of as many county newspapers as possible, which is why the rumours of Mediaworks – publisher of Népszabadság and 13 county papers – becoming owned by a government-friendly person were significant. The results of the mid-term elections also warned Fidesz so they knew that they have to stop the emerging of one unified opposition if they want to win. Hence, out of their own needs, Fidesz tries to keep MSZP breathing and functioning until 2018.
Copy editor: bm