Democratic opposition party talks stalled, again

April 4, 2018

MSZP-P - LMP talks
MSZP-P prime ministerial candidate Gergely Karácsony (left) and LMP co-chair Ákos Hadházy

With only five days to go until the parliamentary general election, the leftish opposition parties are still struggling to strike a coherent deal over candidate coordination in individual electoral districts.

Tuesday afternoon, Hungarian news site index.hu reported based on anonymous sources that leaders of the Hungarian Socialist Party-Dialogue (MSZP-P) electoral alliance and Politics Can Be Different might have reached an agreement about coordinating their candidates in four electoral districts.

According to index.hu’s information, the alleged deal concerned:

  • Budapest 1st, where the MSZP-P candidate Márta V. Naszályi would withdraw in favor of LMP’s Antal Csárdi, even though a fresh poll commissioned by Momentum president András Fekete-Győr determined that V. Naszályi is the opposition candidate most likely to win.
  • Budapest 17th, where LMP candidate András Tenk would withdraw in favor of MSZP-P’s Ildikó Bangó-Borbély, despite Country For All Movement’s poll in the district suggesting that Együtt’s Szabolcs Szabó is the strongest candidate.
  • Pest county 6th, where the MSZP-P candidate would withdraw in favor of LMP’s Szilvia Lengyel.
  • Csongrád county 1st, where LMP candidate Zoltán Bodrog would withdraw in favor of MSZP-P’s Sándor Szabó.

Later that day, MSZP-P prime ministerial candidate Gergely Karácsony called news about MSZP-P – LMP talks “a hoax.” However, LMP co-chair and prime ministerial candidate Bernadett Szél confirmed that such talks are under way. At a Budapest forum Tuesday evening Karácsony stated that he is willing to start talks with LMP and Együtt about candidate coordination, only for this to be rejected a few hours later by LMP board member Péter Ungár. In a Facebook post, Ungár said that “instead of chances, [MSZP] wants to maximize [campaign subsidy] money” and called MSZP-P’s offer “everything but fair.”

Wednesday morning, LMP co-chair Ákos Hadházy announced on his Facebook page that if parties of the opposition cannot reach a nationwide agreement by Friday afternoon, he would withdraw from running in his hometown of Szekszárd. According to Hadházy, Tuesday night MSZP-P made a “bizarre, irrealistic, incorrect and incomprehensible improvised ‘offer'” that is no more than a “communications trick” aimed at convincing the electorate it is LMP that hinders a potential opposition deal and therefore a change of government.