MSZP parliamentarian Attila Mesterházy (pictured) has thrown his hat into the ring in Veszprém’s 1st electoral district, reports zoom.hu citing unnamed sources.
Currently, that seat in parliament is occupied by Zoltán Kész, the independent MP who broke Fidesz’s two-thirds supermajority in a 2015 by-election called after the district’s Fidesz MP, Tibor Navracsics, was tapped to serve as a European Commissioner.
According to zoom.hu, Ferenc Gerstmár, the Politics Can Be Different (LMP) candidate in the district for the April 8 national election, has withdrawn from the race.
“I could be more useful if I do not run as a candidate,” Gerstmár reportedly said.
According to zoom.hu‘s unnamed sources, LMP would urge its voters to cast a ballot for the Hungarian Socialist Party’s Mesterházy. Zoom.hu‘s sources appear to be telling a story that is entirely different what from the Beacon is hearing. LMP co-chair Ákos Hadházy tells the Beacon there is no chance his party would back Mesterházy.
In a statement released to index.hu, LMP said: “Our strategy has remained unchanged since the formation of the party: we have always worked for a change in era and a change in government, and this is what we will be doing in Veszprém regardless of Ferenc Gerstmár’s decision to pull out.”
MSZP received this electoral district as part of their agreement with the Democratic Coalition to divvy up districts. This means that it would be up to MSZP to ensure that they don’t launch a candidate against Kész if he’s the stronger candidate. MSZP could certainly decide to back Kész in Veszprém, just as it decided to back economist and independent candidate Tamás Mellár in Pécs.
Mesterházy succeeded Ferenc Gyurcsány as chairman of the Hungarian Socialist Party in 2009 and was that party’s candidate for prime minister in the 2010 general election. Fidesz’s landslide victory that year was largely due to low voter participation by traditional MSZP supporters. Mesterházy also led the joint democratic list of candidates in the 2014 general election in a disastrous attempt to unify left-wing opposition parties under one flag, handing Fidesz its second consecutive two-thirds supermajority.