Budapest, January 27 (MTI) – The leader of the Socialist opposition party, József Tóbiás, told the daily Magyar Idők’s Wednesday issue that his party is poised to be the “party of change” in the next general election held in two years’ time.
He said the result of the latest election, a local by-election held in Szolnok, showed that it is the Socialists rather than radical nationalist Jobbik that will provide the alternative to the ruling Fidesz party.
The Szolnok election held earlier in January was won by the Fidesz candidate.
Tobias insisted that in every by-election held in the past year, the Socialists had either won or achieved a good result. “The Socialist Party wants a change of government,” he told the paper. “It wants what the majority of the country wants.”
The party leader said there are always “challengers and ambitious people who bring new values and energy” and “they always say that there is no need for those who are older and more experienced.” He added that the question revolved around in what form cooperation between generations takes place.
Tobias insisted that he was not concerned with the statements of former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, the one-time Socialist leader who now heads a rival leftist party, the Democratic Coalition. Gyurcsány, he said, does not influence his decision making.
“We are building a self-contained left-wing party which upholds the national interests, and for the next 18 months to two years, we will not preoccupy ourselves with any other opposition party,” he said.
Tóbias said he would again put himself forward as a candidate to lead the Socialists at the party’s June congress.