Budapest, May 27 (MTI) – The opposition Socialists officially elected László Botka, the current Mayor of Szeged, as their prime ministerial candidate at their party congress, the party’s chairman announced on Saturday.
Botka, who ran for the nomination unopposed, received 280 delegate votes from a total possible 292, Gyula Molnár said.
In his address to the party congress, Molnár said next year’s general election was about choosing between Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Europe.
He said ruling Fidesz had “deceived” the country and had “cast away all respectable conservative values”.
Molnár said national pride under Fidesz had turned into “cynicism and arrogance”. He said the government had turned its back on representing the values of the past to “build a regime of lords and servants” and had left behind “Europeanism” and “turned towards Eastern dictators”.
He said the Socialist party was not a narrow elite and would govern “for the many” instead of “the few” if elected. Molnár said a Socialist government would expect those who are better off to take on a greater share of the public burden to help those living in more difficult conditions.
Botka said in his speech that next year’s election would be decided between voters who are satisfied with the government’s performance and those who are not. He said all voters must ask themselves whether they are satisfied with Hungary’s current state. Botka said those who are satisfied should choose Orbán and those who are not should pick him in 2018.
He said it was not enough for him to “put forward the best election programme possible”, adding that the support of all “leftist, democratic and dissatisfied” voters would be needed.
Botka described himself as “a team player” who could “lead Hungary to victory” if voters believe in values of left-wing politics such as equality and justice.
He said a Socialist government would “build a new Hungary” in which “the little man” is treated equally and the people “would once again have freedom of expression, thought” and would be “free to do as they please”.
Ruling Fidesz reacted to Botka’s nomination saying that he was a candidate of US financier George Soros.
“The Socialist Party’s prime ministerial candidate has made it clear that if his party wins the election, they would dismantle the fence [on Hungary’s border with Serbia] and let in migrants, thereby putting the security of Hungary and the whole of Europe at risk,” Fidesz said in a statement. “The Socialists are ready to implement the migration policy of Soros and Brussels.”
“Not only do they want to dismantle the fence, but they also support the mandatory settlement of migrants without an upper limit and have voted for the proposals on this in the European Parliament,” Fidesz added.