Botka makes “generous offer” of cooperation to five opposition parties

September 25, 2017

Botka makes "generous offer" of cooperation to five opposition parties
Photo: MTI/Balázs Mohai

László Botka, prime ministerial candidate for the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), has made an offer for cooperation with six other opposition parties in the 2018 parliamentary election, and promised them half of the spots on a common list if they cooperate with MSZP in coalition.

Botka, MSZP party chairman Gyula Molnár and former chairman István Hiller held a press conference Monday morning where Botka said MSZP was making a “generous offer” to “every democratic opposition party with measurable support” – Politics Can Be Different (LMP), Together (Együtt), Democratic Coalition (DK), Momentum, Dialogue for Hungary (PM) and the Hungarian Liberal Party. Botka proposed that:

  1. The opposition parties should run on a common list with MSZP, and run common candidates in each of Hungary’s 106 electoral districts.
  2. Each of the parties would be assured seats in parliament. “Every party could have its own delegations. We are preparing for coalition governance,” Botka said.

According to Botka, based on the negotiations of the past several months between MSZP and other opposition parties, he believes that the parties are able to reach an agreement and run the candidate with the best chance of winning in each of the 106 districts. He would also give 49 percent of the spaces on the party’s list to the six parties, to be divided among themselves based on public opinion poll data from the last six months. Based on those numbers:

  • DK would receive 17 percent of the names on the list,
  • LMP, 13 percent
  • Momentum, 8 percent
  • Együtt, 6 percent
  • Liberal, 3 percent
  • PM, 2 percent

The deal could be attractive to micro-parties such as PM, Együtt and the Liberals, since polls indicate none of them will collect enough votes to have representatives in parliament. However, LMP and Momentum have firmly opposed collaboration with any opposition party, and Együtt has insisted it would not go into coalition with any group that included MSZP or DK.

Botka awaits an answer from the parties, reminding them that the majority of opposition voters favor cooperation between them, and saying “Don’t be hasty! Think it over!”