The Újpest election: A large gain for the left

Some people might argue that the socialist win in the parliamentary election that had to be repeated in Budapest’s 11th electoral district was a foregone conclusion and is not even worth talking about. At least this is what Fidesz wants its supporters to believe. The new election in Újpest was occasioned by the death of Péter Kiss, an important and beloved politician within MSZP, on July 29 at the age of 55. Before the national election in April the party knew that Kiss had cancer and might not live to take his place in parliament, but by endorsing his candidacy they wanted to lift his spirits. Újpest is an old socialist stronghold where Kiss won time and again, and he won again this time although with a smaller margin than in the past.

Imre Horváth, the elderly gentleman as András Schiffer called him

Imre Horváth, the elderly gentleman, as András Schiffer called him

MSZP named a locally well-known man, Imre Horváth, a former officer in the border guard, to run for the vacant seat. During the campaign it was discovered that Horváth, like all border guard officers, took a half year course in Moscow under the aegis of the KGB. Naturally, the opposition was up in arms. As a result, the Demokratikus Koalíció and Együtt-PM withdrew their support. Yet it seems that this campaign against him made nary a dent. Horváth won big.

After receiving the final results, Fidesz announced that “nothing has changed.” After all, a socialist won last time and it was expected that the new socialist candidate would easily win the district. A closer look at the numbers, however, reveals a considerable loss of support for Fidesz and a large gain for the left.

First, let’s take a look at the figures from the April national election. Péter Kiss received 40.7% of the votes while Fidesz’s candidate got 35.2%. And here are the new figures. Horváth received 50.62% of the votes while his Fidesz opponent, Antal Hollósi, got only 30.67%. It seems that in the last six months Fidesz lost about 5% of its voters–or at least the party was unable to mobilize them. Jobbik and LMP also lost support. In April 12.7% of the voters chose Jobbik and LMP garnered 7.1% of the votes. These figures also shrank despite the fact that Jobbik’s candidate was a popular soccer player for the Újpest team. This time Jobbik received only 9.8% and LMP only 5.1% of the votes.

Horváth’s win was impressive. He won at every polling station with the exception of one, in which he and the Fidesz candidate got the same number of votes. That station in October, at the municipal election, was Fidesz territory. At one of the polling stations Horváth received twice as many votes as his opponent. Voting participation, as usual at by-elections, was low but not lower than average.

Speaking of Újpest, I read with some amusement András Schiffer’s assessment of the situation in this district. According to the chairman of LMP, the stakes in this particular election were high. The question was whether a new era is beginning in Hungarian politics; if so, the results may even influence the outcome of the 2018 election. Schiffer may have been right, but of course he was thinking about his own party’s candidate, who ended up with 5.1% of the votes.

There will be another election sometime at the beginning of next year in Veszprém, where Tibor Navracsics’s seat will be contested. Tibor Navracsics, earlier minister of justice and and then minister of foreign affairs and trade, became Hungary’s commissioner on Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission. Thus he had to resign his seat. If the left were to win that seat, Fidesz would lose its two-thirds majority. That’s a long shot. Navracsics won in April with 51.85% of the votes while his socialist opponent, Béla Pál, got only 24.99%.

Lately there have been two national polls, and both indicated a loss of support for Fidesz. Nézőpont Intézet, a firm close to Fidesz, showed a 3% loss between October 14 and November 3 for the ruling party and a considerable gain for Jobbik and LMP. Two days ago Ipsos came out with a new poll that indicated an even greater loss for Fidesz–a full 5%, which means 500,000 potential voters. Ipsos’s results showed practically no gain for the other parties. Those who would no longer vote for Fidesz moved over to the large camp (35%) of undecided voters. I suspect that Fidesz’s downward spiral will continue given the mood of the country.

It is hard to tell whether the results of the Újpest election indicate a real change in the political landscape or not, but one cannot ignore a 10% gain for a candidate who was not nationally known and who had never been in national politics.

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kosmetikhargatermurah
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please follow me back,thanks

Member

Mолодец, товарищ Гoрват!

I have never been this happy for a KGB agent!

MB
Guest

Mutt writes: “I have never been this happy for a KGB agent!”

I never thought I’d see the day when people sing the praises of a KGB agent. And analyze in long long texts how the election of a KGB agent is not only good, it is great. The voters probably had no idea he was KGB and only turnout was incredibly low anyway. But to know his past and be “happy” about it…

That is some new type of disgusting.

I wonder how this person got nominated in the first place? There are tons of MSZP politicians who wanted to enter parliament, like Laszlo Kovacs (former foreign minister, party president), Ildiko Lendvai (former party president) and countless others.

Not to mention that they could have given the seat to one of the other parties, who only have 2-4 people in parliament.

Instead, they had to nominate someone who is only known about being a KGB agent and nothing else. Can someone explain that to me?

Guest

When we saw the election results yesterday evening on ATV (banners running below the regular program on JFK etc) I was already wondering what the media would make out of that – totally ignore it or make it into a “KGB win”.

This is especially funny in a way since Fidesz has not opened the archives so nobody really knows how many “KGB agents” are amongst them.

From experience in Germany we know of course that practically everyone was tainted in a way in communist times – you couldn’t have a career or even get a place at the university and later a job if you weren’t related to the party somehow.

I’ve probably already told the story of my wife who did have no career in the önkormámyzad – because she would not become a party member. But even to keep her lowly job as a typist/secretary she had to take those Marxist lessons in the evenings – that was the minimum …

Teknős
Guest

Orban is the greatest KGB agent of all. Putin via Orban flipped Hungary from being an ally of the West to a staunch ally of Mother Russia. In that context Mr. Horvath is a nobody. Mr. Horvath succeeded to win in one of the few compartmentalized leftist districts. Good for him. Veszprem, however, is an absolute minimum for the opposition to win if it ever wants to gain majority, and it is a rather long shot. The problem is that the opposition would have to win in Zala county, Győr-Sopron, Vas, Bács-Kiskun and several other counties, districts where it has never won.

tappanch
Guest

Fidesz wants to maintain its 2/3 in Parliament at all cost.

The prosecutors will charge the MSzP MP from district 13 with bribery.

They use secret service info (wire tapping) claiming that the MP told somebody two years ago, before his election something like this:
“give me $20,000 and you can rent that store from the local government”
The prosecutors admit that MP Hiszekeny did not get any money.
So the bribery did not actually take place, but he is charged with it.

http://mno.hu/magyar_nemzet_belfoldi_hirei/vademeles-elott-hiszekenyek-ugye-1259828

Fideszniks will not be prosecuted for actual (not attempted) bribery worth 1000 times as much.

tappanch
Guest

This is what I gathered about new MP Horvath.

The border guards (HÖR) were under the Ministry of Interior in the Communist era.
(Remember from history that they had green epaulets as opposed to the blue ones
of the AVH [Rakosi’s equivalent of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards])

As military officer, he was sent to a course in the Soviet Union in 1984 [? check the year]. The course may have been run by the KGB, but even this is not clear.

Does this make Horvath a KGB agent?

tappanch
Guest

According to the source below, the 5-month course consisted of two parts: how to control border guard units and general military tactics

There are at least two actual members of the Orban nomenklatura who probably finished a similar course in the Soviet Union.

http://www.fecsego.eu/2014/11/14/kinek-van-kgb-s-multja-a-tabornoki-karban/

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest

Just this once won’t hurt – I disagree with the analysis in this post.

The turnover was down by half from 66 to 33%; that’s more than 25,000 voters less. This is usually the case of by-elections with little stakes.

While the Left can indubitably be satisfied as they ‘only’ lost 37% of their votes (compared with Fidesz losing 56%, Jobbik 60% and LMP 67%), from my point of view it can hardly be considered a large gain.

gemütlich
Guest

@tappanch

As we know from Putin himself there’s no such thing as a former KGB agent.

(Nor is there a former III/II, III/III and so on agent.)

tappanch
Guest

Russia’s share in the export of the country in 2013:

share in total export; in agricultural export

Baltic states: 16.44%; 62%, banned portion of the agricultural export= 47%
Poland: 5,36%; 28%; banned = 66%
Hungary: 3,08%; 22%; banned= 29%
Germany: 2,44% 11%; banned= 36%

http://index.hu/gazdasag/defacto/2014/11/24/oroszok_a_spajzban/

tappanch
Guest

“banned” stands for the agricultural products that cannot be imported from the EU to Russia by the order of the Russian government since August 7, 2014.

Member

MB
November 24, 2014 at 1:46 am
Mutt writes: “I have never been this happy for a KGB agent!”
I never thought I’d see the day when people sing the praises of a KGB agent.

So, I must assume you will be there again on January 6th to protest against Orban, who sing the praises for Russia and Putin.
The funny thing is that Horvath never has been a KGB agent (not as far as we know), but Putin factually has been a KGB agent.
Mutt wanted to be funny, while Orban is dead serious. Jobbik also supports Russia, has members who were accused spying for Russia, and it is suspected that they receive large amount of money from the ex-KGB (as you would call them).
So, I am just not really sure where you stand MB?

rektor
Guest

Front National just received a EUR 9m loan from a Russian bank. It’s pretty open. I wonder how much Jobbik gets. Of course Fidesz has EU funds to tap, but fideszniks get a lot from the energy deals they cut with Russian companies.

I agree with Jean-Micheal de Waele that Orban is much more pro-Russian than the members of the Hungarian politburo were in the 1980’s.

But I would go further. The Hungarian populace is much more pro-Russian than it was in the 1980’s.

Russia is seen as a beacon, a champion of anti-enlightenment, a last hope against unbridled capitalism and modernity. True for Hungary, and true for Europe.

zsolti885326
Guest

@some1, you know exactly where MB stands. He is pro-Fidesz. He’s been loitering at this blog under various names and he’s been very consistent. Very disciplined. Well-selected. His job is to denounce the left-wing, knowing that many readers here are “anti-communist” (whatever that means). His message is that the left wing is just the same old bunch of ex-communists. The GOP people as well as CSU, the British Conservatives and so on all eat this. Since they don’t really understand Hungary, they don’t get that Fidesz is full of ex-communist security type people with extensive Russian connections or that Orban is indeed more pro-Russia than the communist parties of the Eastern Bloc were in the 1980’s. For them, Fidesz is just a conservative, right-wing party, a beloved member of the EU People’s Party. It’s extremely easy to gain points with these clueless foreign conservatives. MB is satisfied with scoring these little points, he as no bigger ambition at the moment at this blog.

Webber
Guest

@MB – I agree with you on KGB agents, but considering the fact that the Fidesz government has made Mr. Tasnadi (a former communist secret police officer) state secretary, and since Fidesz gave Mr. Tasnadi a seat on the State Security Committee, I wouldn’t be too hard on the electorate.

tappanch
Guest

Here is what the Fidesz daily “Magyar Nemzet” produced on November 3rd, when it started the by-election campaign against the MSzP candidate.

It shows that the 5-month long “border guards commander” course was organized by the KGB. It must have taken place mostly in the second half of 1983, since the the document is dated 01-27-1984.

I do not know whether the document is authentic or not, the stamp and the signature are not legible:

(and we know that Fidesz recognizes only signed and stamped documents, especially if they are personally handed over by an American diplomat)

comment image

tappanch
Guest

A question to the experts:

Isn’t it strange that the Russian text uses the Hungarian name order (family name first) ?

LLLLLLLZ
Guest

tappanch: how did MN obtain this document, assuming it’s genuine? How could it have the know-how to forge such a document or have connections to people how have such knowledge? Well, Magyar Nemzet, a Hungarian government mouthpiece is a consistently pro-Russia daily with extensive ties to secret services both Hungarian and Russian.

tappanch
Guest

Second observation about the document:

The soft foreign “h” is usually transcribed by “g” in Russian, but here we see the hard kh (“x”) transcription.

Webber
Guest

@tappanch – No, it isn’t strange in general terms for a Russian text to use “Hungarian name order.” It’s a little odd in that document because generally the word “familia” would be entered before the family name, and “imya” before the given name. Otherwise, on official documents throughout the communist world it was common to give family-name first. This was (and is) always done in military and security organizations and prisons – I wouldn’t be surprised if this practice dated from Tsarist times. That name order is still used in Russia and Romania (I’ve heard it, personally), and perhaps other countries in roll calls (in prison, the army, etc.). The person being called is cued first by the family name “Putin!”, then by the given name and patronymic “Vladimir Vladimirovich!”, at which he responds.

HiBoM
Guest

What is interesting about this result is that although the turn out was much lower, Fidesz failed to mobilise its own supporters. Which is unusual. And MSZP seems to have got its own people to the polilng stations, which is also unusual.

Having said that, Horváth is an abysmal choice and if he had been standing for Fidesz, I don’t think people on this blog would be defending his dubious past. Surely there the MSZP must have more inspiring candidates …. but clearly not.

Webber
Guest

@tappanch – I have to disagree – H is very often transcribed as “х.” It certainly can be transcribed as “г”, but that is not universally done.

googly
Guest

MB,

You wrote: “I never thought I’d see the day when people sing the praises of a KGB agent.”

Do you not follow the news in Hungary at all, then? Orbán himself admires the way Russian is run, and there has been a KGB agent in complete charge of the government for well over a decade. Jobbik also sings the praises of Russia, and sends “election monitors” to Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Surely you have seen praises they have sung of current/former members of the KGB.

Perhaps you are just troll, who wants to spread disinformation and obfuscation, in order to gain some sort of twisted, perverse pleasure, or you just do it because you are paid to do so and have no morals or conscience. If you are a troll, I hope you aren’t a Christian, because you would be breaking quite a few rules of your religion.

Webber
Guest

Isn’t it odd that these little documents and charges from Fidesz appear before elections, after which the charges somehow disappear and only the stench remains? I’m sure many of us will recall the accusation that the Jobbik MEP Bela Kovacs is a Russian agent. That seems perfectly plausible – but where is the evidence? Why haven’t they released it? Before the elections Fidesz promised it would produce the evidence to Brussels to start the process to remove Kovacs’s immunity from prosecution. Not a shred of evidence has been produced to Brussels or the press. Indeed, the evidence Fidesz allegedly brought forward in closed committee sessions in Budapest has been made a state secret. Quite odd — and I note that, by contrast, the French government and press has found no difficulty in producing proofs that Front National under Marine Le Pen has received millions in Russian support. Story here: http://euobserver.com/foreign/126638

tappanch
Guest

Third observation about the purported KGB document in Magyar Nemzet:

The printed name of the signature is “N. Makarov”.

The Russians always write their patronymic. It is missing here

Webber
Guest

@tappanch – Missing patronymic – now that’s interesting! And truly a bit odd. But I wonder of this is the same N(E) Makarov: http://encyclopedia.mil.ru/encyclopedia/history_department/more.htm?id=11588287@SD_Employee

Webber
Guest
Guest

Probably this story like many others will fizzle out (that’s the right proverb?) or as we say in German “es wird im Sande verlaufen”.

Isn’t there somewhere a collection of all those cases where Fidesz accused some people with great fanfare and nothing came out of it?

The first case I remember that was discussed here a few years ago were the accusations against Agnes Heller and others – there was a great outcry about their embezzlement – but when they were found completely innocent …

And what about Simon and the guy who died in a police car – you don’t hear a word about that case …

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