New surveillance cameras were installed in the street of Péter Márki-Zay on the same day he officially announced his mayoral candidacy in February’s special mayoral election in Hódmezővásárhely, reports index.hu.
As the Budapest Beacon reported, last week Hódmezővásárhely history teacher Márki-Zay announced that he was going to run for mayor as an independent candidate in February’s special mayoral election that follows the death of Fidesz-Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) Mayor István Almási last year. Opposition parties Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), Politics Can Be Different (LMP) and Jobbik reportedly will not run their own candidates against acting Fidesz mayor Zoltán Hegedűs but instead support the independent candidate.
On Saturday Márki-Zay posted on his Facebook page that new surveillance cameras had been installed on both ends of the street where he lives. According to him, now his visitors can be surveilled whichever direction they come from. Márki-Zay noted that for years, two mayors resided in the silent cozy rural street which rarely ever has traffic and there was no need to surveil the area. Although according to the Public Procurement Gazette the investment had been planned well before Márki-Zay announced his candidacy, based on the wording of the procurement, it is not clear whether the cameras were originally planned to be installed in the section of the street where he lives.
In a Friday Facebook post, the self-proclaimed former Fidesz sympathizer stated that since he had announced his candidacy in a close circle the reigning power had been trying to intimidate him and to dissuade his supporters. In a January 2 post, the independent candidate recalled that two days after he had informally announced his candidacy he was fired from his job at the subsidiary of a multinational company. “The decision was not preceded by a written or verbal warning, my succession was not solved and although my boss referred to budget reasons, I had not known him like someone who would give a family man, a father of seven the sack, a week before Christmas.”
In the same post, Márki-Zay also stated that his wife, who runs a midwife enterprise, received a “friendly warning” that the National Public Health and Medical Officer Service (ÁNTSZ) had been ordered to thoroughly check her practice. A couple of days earlier, Minister Overseeing the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár reportedly sent for the director of Hódmezővásárhely hospital and held a meeting with him behind closed doors.
Hódmezővásárhely residents cast their vote on February 25. Even though it will be very hard to beat a Fidesz candidate in the southern Hungarian town where the governing party has historically strong support, the mayoral election will be an important rehearsal of the opposition’s coordination strategy, namely running only one opposition candidate against Fidesz’s.