Fidesz co-chair and MP Lajos Kósa will step down as leader of Fidesz’s parliamentary faction to be appointed minister without portfolio.
On Tuesday 24.hu reported that Kósa is likely to exit as faction leader at the autumn government meeting and would be most likely succeeded by Gergely Gulyás.
The news site sought comment from Gulyás, who is on a foreign trip, for confirmation. Gulyás neither refuted nor confirmed the news site’s information, saying “in staff-related questions like this, the decision is Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s, and currently the faction leader is called Lajos Kósa”.
On Thursday, Kósa confirmed to hvg.hu that he will indeed step down and be appointed minister without a portfolio overseeing Orbán’s “Modern Cities” program. Between 2015 and May 2017 Orbán visited 23 towns with county rights and promised investments worth a total of more than HUF 3 trillion (USD 11.8 billion) within the framework of that program. Starting these investments as soon as possible is crucial for the government as they will be one of the main elements in Fidesz’s campaign for the 2018 parliamentary and 2019 municipal elections.
Kósa became faction leader in September 2015 after Antal Rogán – who had been in the position since 2012 – joined the government as Head of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister. According to 24.hu’s sources, in addition to Fidesz co-chairs Kósa and Szilárd Németh, Gulyás was also already considered as a successor of Rogán in 2012. Kósa told hvg.hu that if it depended on him, he would have led the parliamentary faction for 100 years.