The united opposition gathered to mark the March 15 national holiday at a rally held on the Danube embankment in Buda near the Technical University on Tuesday afternoon.
Some of the participants marched over Szabadság Bridge where speeches are scheduled to be held by pastor Gábor Ivanyi, Momentum leader Anna Donáth, Budapest Mayor and Párbeszéd co-leader Gergely Karácsony, Jobbik leader Péter Jakab, LMP co-leader Erzsébet Schmuck, Socialist co-leader Bertalan Tóth, Democratic Coalition MEP Klára Dobrev, president of the European People’s Party (EPP) Donald Tusk and Péter Márki-Zay, the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate, the organisers said.
The crowd filled the area of the embankment between Szent Gellért Square and Bertalan Lajos Street.
Participants were holding the flags of Hungary and Ukraine, as well as of the DK, Jobbik, the Socialist and Momentum parties.
Péter Márki-Zay, the prime ministerial candidate of the united opposition, told a rally marking the March 15 national holiday on Tuesday that he trusted Hungary could return to the “good side” of history.
Márki-Zay told the commemorative event held on the Danube embankment in front of the Technical University that “we believe the power belongs to the people and that David will defeat Goliath.”
“We believe that Hungary will return to the good side of history on April 3,”
he said referring to the upcoming general election. “Hungary will finally be a winner … we will again become a united nation and we can proudly say again that we are Hungarian wherever we travel in the world”, he added.
He asked opposition supporters to convince three more people each, so that “the most corrupt government in Hungarian history” can be replaced with a two-thirds majority.
Referring to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, he said
“one man had monopolised Hungarians” and added that it was unacceptable that “Hungarians should be losers in their own country”.
“This time it was not because of external coercion but the selfishness and lust for power of the our own leaders that we chose the declining East over the developing West, captivity over freedom and hate over love,” he said.
never before had there been a simpler choice: Europe must be chosen over the East.
He said diversity made the opposition strong. What the opposition has built over the past four years with the involvement of parties and civilians will offer a more peaceful and secure country also for those that do not support it, he added.
He pledged for a caring, safer and more secure Hungary and confirmed the country’s Euroatlantic commitment.
Pastor Gábor Iványi told the rally that “Hungarian freedom cannot exist without world freedom” and said that in central Europe there was no transient space “between western freedom and eastern tyranny”.
Momentum leader Anna Donáth listed the 12 points of the opposition and called for stand-alone ministries for health and education.
Budapest Mayor and Párbeszed co-leader Gergely Karácsony said targets included real parliamentary representation, equality before the law, restoring the rule of law and discontinuing the regime of “turning power into money”.
Jobbik leader Péter Jakab called for unity for the sake of peace and freedom and LMP co-leader Erzsébet Schmuck promised the “liberation of farmers” and independent administration of justice.
DK MEP Klára Dobrev demanded the introduction of the euro without delay and independent education.
Dunald Tusk, the leader of the European People’s Party, said that honourable and decent people could clearly see which side they should stand on.
The path of European democratic tradition based on the 1848-49 revolution and freedom fight has no alternative, the opposition Parbeszed party said in a statement marking the March 15 anniversary on Tuesday.
In 1848, Hungarians wanted freedom, independence and self-governance, Parbeszed said, adding that those values were vital for all European countries, and each of them had fought against “dictatorship, autocracy and impirial ambitions throughout their history.”
“The war launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin, regrettably, brings the current commemorations, which had become somewhat textbook-like, to life,”
the statement said, adding that Ukraine was facing “an expansionist, aggressive empire trying to occupy and destroy it.”
“We are witnessing flesh-and-blood people ready to sacrifice everything for freedom and sovereignty, just like our 1848 heroes,”
the statement said.
“Political and ethical divisions are now clear: supporters of freedom, self-determination, equality, democracy, European values and peace are on one side, while there are those who set their store by power and violence, supporting oppressive empires rather than free nations, preferring eastern-type despotism rather than European liberal democracies”.
Párbeszéd slammed the government for making “ambiguous remarks” and representing “false neutrality”, and insisted that leaders were needed who were “not cowed by despots and who do not walk a fine line; those who do not seek the favour of bloody-handed dictator Vladimir Putin … but stand by freedom and sovereignty unfalteringly,” Parbeszéd said.
The ideal of a modern Hungary was born on March 15, 1848, embracing equality, unquestioned individual freedoms and the primacy of the rule of law, the co-leaders of the opposition LMP party said in a statement on Tuesday.
Referring to an invasion of Russian soldiers in June 1849, Erzsébet Schmuck and Máté Kanász-Nagy said that Hungary may have lost its war of independence, but the Hungarian national identity was born “definitively and irrevocably”.
“The message of our heroes is timeless … They dreamed of a sovereign Hungary with its own destiny,” the statement said.
Referring to the upcoming general election the statement added:
“On April 3, we will decide whether we want to belong to the free world, as our 1848 heroes wanted, or continue to rub against the bloodthirsty aggressive dictator of Russia.”