Together-PM candidate for mayor of Felcsút, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s home town, died last night after being struck by a car. András Váradi was returning home after putting up campaign posters when he was struck while trying to retrieve a ladder that had fallen off his car. Váradi was taken to hospital in serious condition where he later died of his injuries. The municipal election is this Sunday, October 12.
A simple shepherd by profession, Váradi made national headlines earlier this year by demonstrating against the loss of lands traditionally cultivated by him and others to a company owned by Felcsút mayor Lörinc Mészáros, a close friend of Viktor Orbán and one of Hungary’s richest men thanks to a series of lucrative government contacts and concessions.
Váradi also sued for the return of pastureland awarded to Mészáros where Váradi had kept his flocks. According to propeller.hu this lawsuit prevented Mészáros from borrowing money from banks with which to purchase additional lands necessary to realize his grandiose plans. Váradi had even sued Mészáros’ agricultural company, Búzakalász 66 Felcsút Kft., for allegedly stealing manure from Váradi for use in Mészáros’ fields. A first-level court ruled in Váradi’s favor in May of this year.
The day after Együtt nominated Váradi as its candidate for mayor of Felcsút, his fields were plowed under in an apparent act of political retribution, allegedly by individuals employed by Mészáros’ company.
The Together-PM alliance issued the following statement on the news of Váradi’s death:
“We have lost a great fighter, an everyday hero, a just and endlessly brave man, who even alone confronted the enormous excesses of power with their own injustices. We lost a good friend and important ally whose absence we are going to feel for a long time. We will preserve his memory forever, and we continue to stand up for his principles and ideas in the future. We are proud that we could be in the same party with him. Our party considers András Váradi’s as one of its own dead, and we share the pain of the family in mourning.”