“Just as they did not accept it earlier, a part of the political right would not accept an election defeat this time either,” Democratic Coalition (DK) president Ferenc Gyurcsány said at his party’s “situation assessment” campaign event in Budapest on Sunday. The former prime minister warned the National Commissioner of Police and Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér that it is their responsibility to maintain law and order after election day, reports state news agency MTI.
Referring to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s March 15th speech in which Orbán vowed to exact vengeance after the April 8 general election, Gyurcsány said that “if somebody must exact vengeance, then it is the Hungarian people.” According to Gyurcsány, there are millions who experienced in the past eight years being deprived the opportunity of a normal life who had been trampled upon and threatened to stay silent. “One shouldn’t take revenge, but create a normal life,” he added.
According to the former prime minister, Orbán and his cabinet betray Hungary’s historic mission when they use war rhetoric against representatives of the free world “from the UN to Brussels.”
Commenting on Együtt president Péter Juhász’s withdrawal from running as a candidate in Budapest’s 1st electoral district, Gyurcsány said dozens of similar steps are needed in order to beat Fidesz in the election. “It shouldn’t be the democrats who hinder the victory of democrats,” he said. The DK president even begged other opposition parties to withdraw their candidates in favor of other opposition candidates who have a better chance of winning: “With passion due to my love for my nation, I beg you if you like (…) to make way for the victorious!”
According to Gyurcsány, after Fidesz’s defeat in the Hódmezővásárhely mayoral by-election in February, the illusion of an unconquerable Fidesz vanished. Fidesz had been “struck by the wind of defeat” he believes will oust the party on April 8.
The DK president expressed his concerns about the freeness and fairness of the election, and thus demanded election authorities keep every document relevant to the election, including endorsement forms, so that a new government would be able to prove Fidesz was behind the scores of bogus parties running in the election.
He expects that the “political right” (pretty much Fidesz and the Christian Democratic People’s Party – ed.) would not accept an election loss, so he warned the National Chief of Police and the Minister of Interior that it is their responsibility to maintain law and order after the vote. According to index.hu‘s reporting, Gyurcsány also warned the national security services about their “increased responsibility” if the political right fails to accept defeat.
Although his rhetoric might seem populist, it is not entirely without grounds as it was Orbán who, after narrowly losing the 2002 election, became the first politician in Hungary’s post-1989 history to question the validity of election results.
In the weeks after the election, leading Fidesz politicians frequently spoke about alleged irregularities and demanded an election recount. In July 2002, a group of 50 occupied Erzsébet bridge in Budapest to demand a recount, causing traffic jams throughout the capital. The blockade was eventually disbanded by riot police, leaving several protesters and officers injured.