Socialists to reduce parliamentary activity till election
The opposition Socialist Party (MSZP) on Wednesday said it would cut back on its parliamentary activity until next year’s general election.
Speaking at a press conference, Socialist group leader Bertalan Tóth said his party would not initiate parliamentary debate sessions, turn to the president or the Constitutional Court and would even boycott five-party talks between now and the election.
Explaining the reason for his party’s decision not to turn to the top court from now on, Tóth said that the body had been “filled with Fidesz-affiliated” judges “with the help of the extremely anti-establishment LMP”. He said his party had submitted 14 motions to the court since the spring of 2015, none of which had been ruled on.
“The Constitutional Court is deliberately stalling,” Tóth insisted.
As regards their decision not to appeal to the president, Tóth said President János Áder was “a servant of [ruling] Fidesz” who he said overlooked corruption cases and “signs indefensible laws”.
Concerning parliamentary debate sessions, he said
the institution had been watered down by Fidesz, adding that it was “pointless” to have “democratic opposition” parties debating each other.
Regarding their decision to boycott five-party talks, Tóth said talks initiated by Fidesz were nothing more than “shows” while those initiated by the opposition were a waste of time.
Beyond its limited parliamentary activity, the party intends to hold “partial national assemblies” outside parliament to which it will invite representatives of local NGOs and intellectuals, Tóth said. The first of these will be held in Eger, in northern Hungary, on Thursday and will focus on the state of pensioners, he said.
Opposition Jobbik said in reaction that by refusing to contribute to opposition motions,
the Socialist Party had “betrayed” the goal to oust the government and “sold out” left-wing voters.
Speaking at a press conference, Jobbik group leader János Volner accused the Socialists of deliberately trying to weaken the role of the opposition. All of this will “drastically limit” the opposition’s room of manoeuvre, he said, adding that by refusing to support opposition motions in the future, the Socialist Party had “sided with [Prime Minister] Viktor Orbán”.
Green opposition LMP said
troubled forex loan holders would pay the price of the Socialists’ decision not to support parliamentary debate sessions.
LMP spokesman Máté Kanász-Nagy told a press conference that his party had initiated a parliamentary debate on the state of forex loan holders because it wants to make sure that “no one ends up on the street because of the government’s incompetence”. An important part of this is drawing attention “to the government’s failures” in parliament, “but the Socialists have now said no to this”, Kanász-Nagy said.
As we wrote, László Botka has resigned as the Socialist Party’s candidate for prime minister. At the same time, István Ujhelyi has resigned as the Socialist Party’s deputy leader.