Politics Can Be Different (LMP) elected anti-corruption crusader Ákos Hadházy as party co-chair at a party congress held this past weekend. The only candidate for the position, the Szekszárd-based former Fidesz city council representative was chosen to replace party co-founder András Schiffer, who resigned in May. The small anti-globalization party also voted to have Hadházy assume the seat in parliament vacated by Schiffer’s unexpected departure.
Two Hungarian news outlets published interviews with LMP’s new co-chair. Summaries of the interviews are below.
Interview with nol.hu
On Monday, Hungarian news site nol.hu published the summary of an interview with Hadházy. According to him, the role of party leader in LMP differs significantly from that of Fidesz.
In LMP, Hadházy said, party decision-making is much more centered around the party congress and party leadership — rather than in the hands of a single leader.
Hadházy said LMP is working for a post-Orbán government plan to put the country back on course. First on the politician’s list of things to fix is corruption, or “political crimes” as he refers to it.
Another top priority for Hadházy is strengthening Hungary’s small- and medium-sized businesses. According to him, Fidesz made all kinds of empty promises to help Hungarian businesses compete against large businesses.
When asked whether he will vote in the government’s upcoming referendum against what it perceives to be an EU quota on refugees, Hadházy said it is likely he will not because that decision would be consistent with his own personal beliefs.
According to Hadházy, the refugee crisis needs to be resolved but this referendum is not a solution, being a tool to demonize others, and for this reason he has absolutely no intention of taking part.
Nol.hu also tried to find out whether LMP would consider taking part in a broader coalition for the 2018 national elections. Hadházy said the party had already made a decision at an earlier congress to go it alone.
(The Budapest Beacon has recently interviewed LMP’s co-chairs, Ákos Hadházy and Bernadett Szél, and both were adamant that LMP would not run joint candidates with other parties in the 2018 national elections.)
Hadházy told nol.hu that LMP is open to collaborating with civil society and other opposition parties in the run-up to the elections, but he is not interested in taking part in meetings with other parties to figure out who gets which parliamentary mandate. Hadházy believes voters can and should be taken away from Fidesz.
When asked about his opinion concerning the opportunities that EU funds provide Hungary, Hadházy said these opportunities are being squandered through organized political thievery.
Interview with Magyar Nemzet
Asked by Magyar Nemzet whether he will do things differently than former party co-chair András Schiffer, Hadházy said:
Obviously, there are many things that must be done differently. But it is important to remember what will remain the same. We do not want to demonize the problems, we will continue to search for intelligent solutions to these problems. We will not demonize the EU, the migration question or big business. We must offer good solutions for these. It is also very important that corruption not be demonized, but we must say that the situation has become critical and it is not only affecting our present quality of life, it is affecting the future of our children.
Hadházy said LMP has two priorities right now: defeat Fidesz in 2018 and to give a new direction to the country once that happens.
According to him, “the government lost all control in 2010 when they were elected with a two-thirds [supermajority]. In recent years we have seen that they have lost the ability to control themselves.”