Joint democratic opposition candidate wins Zugló by-election by a long shot

April 24, 2017

Joint opposition candidate Bence Bitskey (pictured right) won just over 50 percent of the vote in Sunday’s local by-election in the third electoral district of Budapest’s 14th District (Zugló). Bitskey was supported by left opposition parties the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), Democratic Coalition (DK) and Párbeszéd (Dialogue for Hungary).

Governing party coalition Fidesz-KDNP candidate Zoltán József Somodi received just under 26 percent of the vote, marking a stark contrast with district elections in 2014 in which the Fidesz candidate was defeated by only seven votes.

Perhaps most surprising, Two-tailed Dog Party candidate Imre Tóth received nearly 7 percent of votes cast, defeating both the Workers Party and Politics Can Be Different (LMP) candidates.

Voter participation was low, however — according to district chief legal officer László Makranczi, only 26.5 percent of eligible voters, 1569 out of a total of 5922, cast votes.

The by-election was held to fill the district general assembly seat vacated by MSZP politician Attila Sápi who disappeared on January 5, 2016, and whose mandate expired on January 26, 2017.

In Budapest’s 8th district (Józsefváros), district vice-mayor Mrs. Péter Sántha (Fidesz-KDNP) was elected to represent Józsefváros’s 6th district in the district general assembly. Receiving 424 votes, she defeated musician László Pityinger, also known as “Dopeman,” who ran as an independent with Socialist support. Sántha also defeated Márta Bolba, the joint candidate for democratic opposition parties Együtt (Together), Párbeszéd and the Hungarian Liberal Party (MLP).