Hódmezővásárhely, a Fidesz stronghold for over two decades, will have an independent mayor for the next 18 months.
In Sunday’s mayoral by-election, independent candidate Péter Márki-Zay received 57.5 percent of the vote to roundly defeat governing political alliance candidate Zoltán Hegedűs, who received just 41.63 percent.
Márki-Zay enjoyed the support of the opposition parties, which refrained from running their own candidates in the important by-election in the southern Hungarian city.
The mayoral by-election witnessed an unusually large turnout compared with the 2014 municipal election. Out of a total adult population of 36,700, 22,918 (62.45 percent) cast a total of 22,745 valid votes. In 2014, only 36.38 percent of the electorate voted in the municipal election. The winner then, István Almási (Fidesz-KDNP), died on November 20, 2017.
In a separate by-election elsewhere in southern Hungary, Fidesz-KDNP candidate György Juhász won election to the Kuskunhalas city council from that city’s fifth electoral district. For the next 18 months Juhász will occupy the city council seat left empty on October 29 last year following the death of Mrs. László Aradszky (Fidesz-KDNP).