Momentum postpones talks with LMP until March

February 12, 2018

Photo: Budapest Beacon/Balázs Pivarnyik

Momentum Movement chairman András Fekete-Győr has informed Politics Can Be Different (LMP) in a public statement that, while his party is open to cooperating with the parliamentary greenish/leftish party, any formal cooperation will have to wait until March, reports Fekete-Győr’s statement comes after LMP co-chair and prime ministerial candidate Bernadett Szél contacted Fekete-Győr in a letter last week to start talks about “possible alliance politics in the 2018 elections.”

Referring to Szél’s interview with conservative weekly Heti Válasz, Fekete-Győr wrote that “the LMP co-chair also stated that any matter of election tactics should be discussed in March. We do agree on this.” According to Fekete-Győr: “It would be a grave mistake if, in the upcoming weeks, we were preoccupied with each other instead of our electorate. At this moment, the most important duty of both Momentum and LMP is to convince as many voters as possible about the importance of the elections. I would be happy to meet Bernadett Szél to discuss this.”

The Momentum chairman also stated that, while Momentum is open for discussion between parties, they “wish to concentrate primarily on voters.” Fekete-Győr added that “even now, Momentum is working to organize political orphans into a community. Because Momentum is not about 106 candidates but rather several millions of undecided voters who are waiting for a political representation that does not consider politics to be about bargaining over the voters’ heads.”

Although it seems that the Momentum chairman did not reject LMP’s approach outright, postponing talks until March, a month before the April 8 general election, casts doubt on the parties’ ability to form an electoral alliance. Individual candidates have to submit their nominations by March 5, so if the two parties only start talks after formally nominating their candidates, at most they can agree to withdraw certain candidates in favor of the other party’s candidate.