Gémesi given third slot on LMP national list

December 4, 2017

LMP decides on party list, Gémesi is #3
(L-R) György Gémesi and LMP co-chairs Bernadett Szél and Ákos Hadházy | Photo: Facebook/@szelbernadett

Gödöllő mayor and upstart conservative party Új Kezdet (New Beginning) founder and chairman György Gémesi will be the third candidate on LMP’s national list of candidates, just behind co-chairs Bernadett Szél and Ákos Hadházy. Former Socialist MP Márta Demeter appears 7th on the list, causing some to question her prospects for re-election to parliament.

Refusing to enter into negotiations to form a broad alliance of opposition parties, opposition party Politics Can Be Different (LMP) decided to run its own candidates in next year’s general election, reports 24.hu. The list reflects two significant developments showing a shift in the party’s strategy (compared to the 2014 national elections):

  • Moderate centrist voices within the party have prevailed,
  • Former co-chair András Schiffer’s influence has dramatically waned.

After months of negotiating with upstart center-right party Új Kezdet, the two parties will have a go at the 2018 national elections together. Új Kezdet, a party comprised primarily of mayors of rural settlements, will reportedly field candidates in individual electoral districts under LMP’s banners and has received some space on LMP’s national list of candidates.

All LMP members of parliament entered parliament on their party’s list, none of its candidates having won their respective electoral district outright in the 2014 election.

As concerns the party list, LMP is currently polling at around 5 percent, which means it is likely to muster enough votes to seat a five-man parliamentary delegation. Given LMP’s more moderate appeal (compared to the 2014 national elections), there is a chance the party will have more than five delegates in the National Assembly. The likelihood of this happening is contingent on a number of factors, including the drops in the polls for opposition parties.

According to 24.hu, the top ten names on the list are:

  • Bernadett Szél,
  • Ákos Hadházy,
  • György Gémesi (Új Kezdet),
  • Erzsébet Schmuck,
  • Péter Ungár,
  • Lóránt Keresztes,
  • Márta Demeter,
  • Máté Kanász-Nagy,
  • Szilvia Lengyel, and
  • István Ferenczi.

Things to watch

If Új Kezdet chairman György Gémesi lands a seat in parliament, a mayoral by-election will be called in Gödöllő. Gémesi has been mayor of the city since 1990.

Márta Demeter, a former Socialist party MP who left the party to join the ranks of LMP, has a shot at serving another term in parliament if LMP can get 6-7 percent on election day. Demeter has been instrumental in raising awareness of Fidesz’s controversial residency program. Her departure from the Socialist Party certainly contributed to the sense that MSZP’s internal conflicts were causing the party to implode.

According to 24.hu, there are no names in the top 5 that are tied to former co-chair András Schiffer (who stepped back from politics in mid-2016 and was replaced by former veterinarian and former Fidesz municipal councilman-turned-anti-corruption crusader Ákos Hadhazy).

“This is interesting because some in LMP still believe that Schiffer’s informal influence in the party is still quite strong, but we now see that other winds are blowing in the party,” 24.hu writes.