Budapest’s 5th electoral district will fall to Fidesz unless opposition backs incumbent MP

March 23, 2018

Budapest's 5 electoral district will go to Fidesz if opposition refuses to coordinate
István Bajkai on the campaign trail in January 2018 | Photo: @drbajkaiistvan

444.hu reports that Fidesz will take Budapest’s 5th electoral district (which encompasses the city’s 6th and 7th districts) if the Democratic Coalition and Politics Can Be Different don’t stop their “hissy fit.”

Opposition candidate Lajos Oláh (Democratic Coalition, DK) narrowly took the district in 2014 with 38.68 percent of the vote, defeating Fidesz’s Mrs. Mónika Keresztes Rónaszéki who received 38.06 percent.

Now, Fidesz is running István Bajkai, a longtime associate of the prime minister who has represented members of the Orbán family in a variety of legal matters. Bajkai currently serves as deputy mayor of Budapest’s 7th district. His law practice, according to Hungarian investigative journalism NGO Átlátszó, has been paid more than HUF 13 billion (USD 5.2 million) from the Prime Minister’s Office for legal advisory services. His campaign has blanketed the district with freebies, including eggs, milk, and Christmas trees.

Bajkai also got the 20th spot on Fidesz’s national list, which pretty much guarantees him a seat in parliament even if he loses in the 5th electoral district. He has been promoted relentlessly on TV2, Andy Vajna’s television station, and is featured prominently in the free local newspaper, the Körúti Korzó.

According to taktikaiszavazas.hu, DK’s Lajos Oláh stands the best chance (among the opposition) of winning the district providing at least one other opposition party backs him (Jobbik, Momentum, Politics Can Be Different, or the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party).

The breakdown is as follows:

  • István Bajkai – Fidesz-KDNP 30.3 percent
  • János Stummer – Jobbik 8.7 percent
  • Lajos Oláh – DK 27.1 percent
  • László Moldován – LMP 16.9 percent
  • Tamás Soproni – Momentum 8.6 percent
  • Zsuzsanna Döme – MKKP 4.7 percent
  • Lajos Bokros – MoMa 1.4 percent

Coordination among the two main opposition parties in the electoral district has been hampered by a feud between DK and LMP that erupted this past weekend after leadership from both parties failed to reach an agreement on candidate coordination. LMP’s Gábor Vágó, one of the participants of the meeting, accused DK founder Ferenc Gyurcsány afterwards of being drunk and not even offering a drink to his guests.

DK fired back and threatened a lawsuit. Vágó later apologized for the statement.

LMP’s candidate in the district, László Moldován, has said he does not think he should have to step aside for Oláh because Oláh hasn’t accomplished anything in the past four years.  Truth be told, many residents of Budapest’s 6th and 7th districts do not know who their representative in parliament is.

Jobbik’s János Stummer has ruled out stepping aside. Momentum’s Tamás Soproni has indicated an openness to the idea, provided his party leadership agrees. The Hungarian-Two Tailed Dog Party is, well, the Hungarian-Two Tailed Dog Party. And MoMa’s Lajos Bokros has ruled out stepping aside in favor of Oláh. (MoMa and DK had earlier agreed to some sort of electoral cooperation, but that deal fell through and there is bad blood between MoMa chairman Bokros and DK chairman Gyurcsány.)