Momentum president Fekete-Győr withdraws from running in Budapest 1st

April 3, 2018

Photo: Budapest Beacon/Balázs Pivarnyik

Momentum Movement president András Fekete-Győr (pictured) has withdrawn his candidacy after the poll he commissioned last week determined that the Hungarian Socialist Party-Dialogue (MSZP-P) candidate Márta V. Naszályi has the best chance of beating Fidesz’s István Hollik in the electoral district comprising most of historic downtown Pest.

Fekete-Győr announced his decision in a Facebook video on Monday afternoon, in accordance with his last week promise to step back if it turned out that he is not the strongest opposition candidate in Budapest’s 1st electoral district.

A poll conducted in February at the request of the Country For All Movement showed a steady lead for István Hollik (42 percent) with V. Naszályi coming in second (18 percent) and all other candidates, including Fekete-Győr, polling around 10 percent. After long weeks of opposition stalemate, on March 24 Együtt president Péter Juhász, considered the strongest opposition candidate, pulled out of the race and called on other opposition candidates to follow suit, save one.

After Juhász’s announcement, Fekete-Győr met V. Naszályi and Politics Can Be Different (LMP) candidate Antal Csárdi to discuss how to proceed. Although initially the other two candidates supported Fekete-Győr’s idea of jointly commissioning a poll to help decide which one of them should challenge Hollik, later both V. Naszályi and Csárdi claimed there was not enough time for such a poll to take place. Fekete-Győr proved them both wrong by commissioning his own poll, vowing to step back if it found the other candidates to be stronger.

The poll conducted by Medián determined that V. Naszályi is the strongest democratic opposition candidate in the electoral district, although only by a small margin,

In his announcement video, Fekete-Győr told his sympathizers in the constituency “not to lose heart, this will the best for all of us” and urged them to vote for Momentum’s national list on April 8. “As the leader of [Momentum’s national] list, I will work so that nobody has to leave [the country] and it is worth to come home. But now, it is every candidate’s duty to break down Fidesz’s system, and for this István Hollik has to be defeated in downtown as well.”

LMP co-chair and prime ministerial candidate Bernadett Szél told Hír TV Monday evening that she does not want Cserdi to step back. Szél said the last week of the campaign should not be about negotiating and that LMP had wanted to reach an agreement with other parties much earlier. Although she made it clear that LMP considers its own candidate the strongest in downtown, she did not rule out further withdrawals until election day.

In a Monday evening Facebook post, V. Naszályi welcomed Fekete-Győr’s decision and called it “respectable.”