In an interview with 24.hu published Monday, former European Commissioner László Andor (pictured) announced the creation of an advisory council for Gergely Karácsony, the joint MSZP-PM candidate for prime minister. Andor does not refer to the group as a shadow government, but says the well-known figures will help guide Karácsony’s campaign on three main themes: the restoration of a European rule of law, sustainable growth and policies to improve the quality of life.
Members of the council include Andor (chair), Sándorné Ács, Ada Ámon, Károly Banai, Sándor Bardóczi, Erzsébet Berki, Gábor Bojár, András Bozóki, Ferenc Büttl, Gábor Daróczi, Zoltán Fleck, Éva Hegyesiné Orsós, Attila Holoda, Jenő Kaltenbach, Gyula Kincses, Zoltán Komáromi, Endre Kukorelly, Nóra L. Ritók, Tamás Mellár, István Nahalka, Gábor Polyák, András Vértes, and Tamás Wittinghoff.
According to Andor, the council will have a mandate that expires on national election day, April 8th.
“Ideally, [I would hope] for a change in government but, given the current circumstances, preventing Fidesz from obtaining another two-thirds supermajority would be a serious accomplishment,” Andor told 24.hu when asked what results he expects after April 8th.
Andor said Hungary’s political left is undergoing a change, one that can be seen in the MSZP-PM (Hungarian Socialist Party-Dialogue for Hungary) collaboration — “a new type of alliance between an old and a new party.”
“Those who want change today see Gergely Karácsony [of PM], Ágnes Kunhalmi [of MSZP] and Bernadett Szél [LMP co-chair] as embodying the opposition,” Andor said. “There are certainly many who would like to see them working as one team,” he said, by way of sending a signal to Szél, whose Politics Can Be Different party for the most part eschews cooperation with other opposition parties and will run its own slate of candidates in the election.
According to Andor, the stakes of this upcoming election are higher than before: “Many alarming things happened between 2010 and 2014. They [Fidesz-KDNP] laid the constitutional foundation for the one-party political system. But it was really in the last four years that they have been able to situate themselves in this system. All that is left is for them is to finish the job. If something doesn’t happen now, it will be much more difficult later….The government has wasted the EU funds without meeting any of the qualitative expectations. We will not have access to this wasted money again, so we need to find the sources for growth.”