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LMP co-chair András Schiffer to retire from politics

“I would like to live in a country where advancement is not driven by foreign development funds and investments, but in a country where domestic intellectual accomplishments are the motor for advancement. I would love to live in a country where young people are able to unleash their creativity while protecting natural resources, and where persons are given priority over profit.”  – András Schiffer

Politics Can Be Different (LMP) co-chair András Schiffer is retiring from day-to-day politics. His decision to resign as co-chair (effective June 1st) and to give back his parliamentary mandate (effective August 31st) was made public late Monday night in an interview published on Hungarian news site Index.hu.

Schiffer is tired of the grind

“You swallow so much shit when you get into the party and parliamentary ring — and that poisons you,” Schiffer told the website. “Especially when you are fighting at the head of a small party, constantly in the direct line of fire.”

He admitted that he has a distinct role in the party, but he also said a party should not rely too heavily on one popular politician.

According to Schiffer, he first clearly shared his plans to resign with LMP economist Péter Róna. He also spoke with former president of Hungary László Sólyom.

Life after politics

Schiffer said he plans on returning to his occupation as a lawyer. While he wants to step down from the grind of day-to-day politicking, he will not be leaving LMP entirely. He plans to stay in the background and develop the party’s intellectual base.

“It’s clear that the election cycle and the daily grind of politics obstruct any attempt to do so,” he said.

Schiffer divulged no details about how he would go about building LMP’s intellectual base, but he did say that it would likely take place through a foundation.

“I would like to spend more time thinking about this over the summer after I’ve had the opportunity to clear my mind. A foundation would provide a good opportunity for me to develop this intellectual base — not just here in the ivory tower of the capital, but also around the country over the course  of several long years. I would like to live in a country where advancement is not driven by foreign development funds and investments, but in a country where domestic intellectual accomplishments are the motor for advancement. I would love to live in a country where young people are able to unleash their creativity while protecting natural resources, and where persons are given priority over profit,” Schiffer said.

While the Index interview avoids pressing the issue of LMP’s failure to gain a stronger footing in the Hungarian political system, Schiffer did allude to ominous dark clouds over the country.

“There has never been a [parliamentary] cycle when geopolitical happenings entered the domestic public sphere so strongly as now — and the migration crisis is only one such example. Hungary has become a collision point of enormous powers, and LMP has had to try to stay on its feet throughout this time. This current cycle has clearly shown us that if there is no intellectual power [for a party] that could provide stability for anti-establishment politics, it will become incredibly difficult for the party to gain ground.”

Benjamin Novak :