A possibly very strange end to Viktor Orbán’s political career

The following paragraph from an interview Ferenc Gyurcsány gave Somogyi Hírlap, a paper serving Kaposvár and the County of Somogy, has created quite a stir, mostly in the right-leaning media. Since there have been many, most likely purposeful, misinterpretations of what Gyurcsány actually said, here is a faithful translation of the controversial paragraph. This was Gyurcsány’s answer to the reporter’s question about cooperation among the opposition parties.

First we must wait until we find out what happens at the [forthcoming] congress of MSZP where four very different types of politicians will vie for the chairmanship. It is also not immaterial where MSZP will be by next spring. How self-confident they will be. I’m certain that there will be some kind of joining of forces before the next national election, even if not the kind that existed in 2014. But it is also possible that regardless of what we do or say the people—just like in Tapolca and in Salgótarján, in the former from left to right and in the latter from right to left–will vote for the candidate they think is most likely to succeed [against Fidesz]. Thus, a situation may occur—something Viktor Orbán hasn’t thought of—that left-right cooperation will take place over and above his “central power” scheme. It can happen that three large blocks are formed–the left opposition, Jobbik, and Fidesz-KDNP–but that none of them gets the necessary 50%, while they cannot form a coalition openly. Let me add that I wouldn’t be at all happy about such an outcome, but at the same time I cannot preclude the possibility of such public pressure that the current opposition forces will have to cooperate for the sake of dismantling the two-thirds laws. There is the possibility that the current political system will have a very strange end.

The Hungarian media is very Budapest-centric. Few journalists in the capital pay much attention to what appears in the provincial press. However, Gábor G. Fodor’s notorious new internet news site, 888.hu, immediately picked the story up from a far-right site called spiler.blog.hu. Both declared that “Gyurcsány would forge an alliance with Jobbik,” 888.hu adding that “things grow together that belong together.” Magyar Idők also indicated that Gyurcsány would work together with Jobbik and sarcastically added that “perhaps they could form one big party,” attracting voters from the entire political spectrum. “Gyurcsány would have a lot to talk about with [László] Toroczkai. Political success is guaranteed.” Toroczkai, the far-right leader of the Youth Movement of the Sixty-Four Counties, was an active participant in the destruction of the Magyar Televízió’s building when Gyurcsány’s Balatonőszöd speech became public. Válasz’s article ran under the headline: “Hang on, Gyurcsány embodies every anti-fascist’s nightmare.” The author of the article is pretty certain that nothing will come of such cooperation because both MSZP and DK said far too often: “Never with Jobbik!” However, he admitted that the last few by-elections showed that voters can create grand coalitions on “the theory of anybody but Fidesz.”

On the other side of the political spectrum there is deathly silence. No one wants to say anything about Gyurcsány’s assessment of the present political map of Hungary. I found only one blog, László Zöldi’s medianapló.blog.hu, that found this particular passage from the Gyurcsány interview important and thought-provoking. He can’t quite understand why no one explored the subject further with him, although Zöldi has heard at least two subsequent interviews. He simply can’t understand the silence. He even suggests that there may be topics the independent Hungarian media simply doesn’t want to talk about.

Source: pto.hu/post/1/6113

Source: pto.hu/post/1/6113

Indeed, it is a sensitive topic because in the last few years the strength of the various political blocs hasn’t changed substantially. As long as this constellation remains, Fidesz’s chances of winning the next election and perhaps even several more are good. On the other hand, there is the very real problem of Jobbik’s ideology and the democratic opposition parties’ determination not to cooperate with a neo-Nazi party. Gábor Vona’s announcement to get rid of some of his deputies was initially interpreted by many, including myself, as a move toward the center, but Vona’s candidates for the vacated positions hold views just as extreme as those of the party leaders he wants to dismiss.

Gyurcsány is actually not the first politician to talk about some kind of an arrangement between the left and Jobbik. Gergely Karácsony (PM), today mayor of Zugló (District XIV), brought up the idea of a short-term coalition of the opposition parties (MSZP-LMP-Jobbik) back in December 2011. At that point Karácsony was still a member of LMP. The Fidesz government was in the middle of working on a new electoral law. What the public could learn about the details convinced Karácsony that the law would greatly favor the government party and that even if MSZP and LMP faced the government party together they would not be able to get rid of the Orbán government. His suggestion was to forge an alliance among the three opposition parties for the sole purpose of breaking the stranglehold of Fidesz’s two-thirds majority rule. The goal of this alliance would be a minimum program that would remove the worst features of Orbán’s political system, including naturally the electoral system. After the essential changes that would restore the democratic functioning of the government were made, parliament could be dissolved and new elections held. The outcry on the left after this interview was so great that the idea was immediately dropped.

Of course, the political atmosphere today is very different from the one in which Karácsony made this suggestion, which sounded bizarre after only a year and a half of Fidesz rule. Today, however, we have a situation in which several by-elections have shown that the electorate is indeed ready to vote for the candidate who is most likely to succeed against Fidesz. Left-wingers are ready to vote for a Jobbik politician, while disappointed Fidesz and Jobbik voters are ready to cast their votes for a socialist. If such trends continue, one can easily foresee the kind of situation Gyurcsány talked about. And then what? The democratic opposition must have a viable game plan.

May 4, 2016
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Member

It is tragic, that none of the parties have credible leaders, who can formulate clear, well designed programs that the voting public, who wants to oust the Fidesz can trust and follow.
The longer the political vacuum exist in the parties, the greater the chance, that the mafia leader viktor and his gang of corrupt thieves, murderers and common criminals will be ousted by force. It will come at the most unexpected moment and it will be a bigger surprise to all the professional self-enriching Hungarian politicians, than the uprising was in 1956.
——-
In Hungary, there is no opposition party, all of the politicians are “paid off” by the ruling party, directly or indirectly or by allowing them to participate in the enormous corruption and receiving grossly overpriced Government contracts when they pay the required kick back moneys.

Observer
Guest

Have to correct you here:

In this kind of heated fight programs don’t count at all. It’s all emotions.
Not credible, but strong looking, winning leaders are favored (see orban’s parrots narrative).

The 70/30 game is history, the orban Mafia takes all. A person or two may be bought, but nothing like pacts (dont know about Suffer).

I doubt any revolution taking over, rather see a possible momentum at election time, unless an ecomic crisis develops earlier.Not that I don’t see the retribution mood, I’m all for it myself.

Member

We have equal chance to predict the future.

petofi
Guest

Credible leaders?
Wherefrom and how?
Look, the only credible leader was Bajnai who has fled the coop before being un-feathered…And you won’t see him return, either.

petofi
Guest

If Hungarians weren’t such saps for bone-headed Nationalism, and that crème de la crème of Anti-Semitism…in other words, if they had any sense at all (which they don’t) than they would simply form a party around those people who have had the balls and the integrity to face up to Orban: namely,
Anjan, the black nurse, the tax guy…and the like. Form a party around them and vote them in.

Jon Van Til
Guest

Putting forth a single challenger seems both sensible and possible to me. Think of the way America’s dissidents have found their way to advancing Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders to challenge what they see as their “establishment”. One of those two is likely to emerge as the oppositional candidate in the November election.

I think it likely that Hungarians, who are surely not much more bigoted nor much less intelligent than their American counterparts, can figure out how to do something similar.

Observer
Guest

“Anyone, but Fidesz” is the way to go. This was the mood in 1989, never mind that the opposition had no names no programs to talk about.

First thing the Orban mafia must be busted, then there could be new electoral laws, two round elections can be held, etc.
Whatever these elections bring, it can not possibly be worse that the current mafia with uncontrolled power.

F. Gyurcsany is much smarter, i.e. less naive now, and he’s steadily gaining more support. I hope DK will go further, after all F.Gy. is he’s one of the or the least corrupt and the most honest politicians on the scene.

Ceterum censeo, Orban delenta est.

Member

I don’t like the DK, same attitudes prevail among the supporters as in the die hard viktor lovers of the Fidesz . Gyurcsány has credibility? Yes, in a similar way as the viktor. They both lie. Consolation is, that at least Gyurcsány admitted it.

Member

Gyula, I think the Fidesz-media have effectively trashed the Gyurcsány-brand, but where do you think that he lied? To me he has always seemed to be the most honest of all the Hungarian politicians, and if anything, too honest.

Member

“but where do you think that he lied?”

See: http://bfy.tw/5bw3

Observer
Guest

Ye, ye ..

We know this by heart already, and you should know what it meant at the time and place.
The rest is Fidesz lying and propaganda, see my note above and hear Zs. Semlyen on this.

After all, if Gy is lying, why would one would believe him in this instance, or it is cherry picking ..

Member

If you knew “by heart” that Gyurcsány lied ,then why are you denying it?

The better political spin would be would be to say he is at least “honest” enough to admit he lied.

Think about it. What other national politician has admitted to lying that has not been first convicted? If anything that should be your standard: “Honest enough to admit political reality”.

And not trying to pretend the past did not happen.

Overall, it seems you are are the one that is cherry picking. 🙂

P.S. I am not a Fidesz troll. But, seriously, you should not be a DK troll either. 🙂

Member

I grew up in a society, where a politician who admits that he/she lied to the voters and the people and resigns for it, has no further political future. On the other hand, in Hungary, it is accepted by the people, that politicians lie, cheat and steal. That is exactly what they get from their elected officials. They cannot complain, they got, what they expected.

petofi
Guest

Karacsony Gergely is a fine example of what you speak.

The more different….the more the same.

Observer
Guest

@gyula b

Yes, we have equal rights, but not necessarily equal knowledge (I assume you are sincere).
I am saying this because of the “They both lie” bit (Gyurcsany and Orban that is). This and “they are all corrupt” is like saying there are murders both in Sweden and in Columbia.
BTW this one of the tales Fidesz spins in their drive to reduce participation.
My joke: Gyurcsany said he lied, Orban said he never did, but nobody could prove either.

Seriously: Gyurcsany was talking about the Hungarian politics, not only about his two year government. With the benefit of hindsight, many of the assertions in the 13 pages Öszödi were spot on – the financing of politics, i.e. corruption being the most important, now a 300-500 billion Ft a year issue. Then there were the Laszlo Puch and other MSZP stalwarts of the 70/30% system that helped “amortize” Gyurcsany. (More in J.Debeceni’s “A 2006-s ősz”)

The ever lying Fidesz did not succeed in constructing anything of the Sukoro “corruption” case, nor could they prove the alleged instruction from the PM to the police in 2006.
How these compare to the Orban’s a coup d’etat by stealth and to their wholesale looting and pillage

Jean-Paul
Guest

I think the situation depicted by Gyurcsány is quite likely, and the solution proposed by Karácsony is the only realist one to get rid of the Orbán regime. By themselves neither Jobbik, nor the lft can hope to win elections, even with the relative loss of support of the Fidesz. On the other hand one can wonder whether the present opposition leadears will be able to transcend their short-term interest and personal limit, make a temporary alliance in which each have some self-restraint to forge a new constitution that represent a good democratic compromise. If they do, they would reach the statute of real statesmen, including Vona. I, unfortunately, have some doubts that they will be able to do thta. But one can hope…..

Observer
Guest

@jean paul
“..on peut se demander si les dirigeants actuels de l’opposition seront en mesure de transcender …”
Maintenant, ce que je crains aussi. Je ne veux même pas de le dire.

tappanch
Guest

Daily news cocktail from Kleptokratia:

A.
State-owned bank Eximbank gives 31 billion forints to Orban’s buddies and Arab “investors” for NOT export & import purposes.

http://valasz.hu/itthon/na-most-ki-kapott-685-milliardot-az-allami-eximbanktol-118446

B.
Hungarian National Bank gives money to Chairman Ma…’s relative, who in turn gives money to his friends and relatives. Chief Prosecutor Polt’s wife is part of the deal:

http://444.hu/2016/05/04/matolcsy-unokatestvere-mintha-leginkabb-olyan-cegeket-hitelezne-amelyek-szemelyesen-hozza-kotodnek

C.
Chief Prosecutor Polt’s daughter’s boyfriend was the secretary of the bankrupt Quaestor’s president. Mr Boyfriend is not even questioned about the disappearance of one billion dollars (!) of investors’ money.

http://444.hu/2016/05/04/nana-hogy-nem-hallgatja-ki-a-quaestor-vezer-titkarat-az-ugyeszseg

http://www.blikk.hu/aktualis/tarsoly-titkara-polt-lanyaval-jar/kh99xnd

tappanch
Guest
tappanch
Guest

The board of supervisors of the National Bank.

Ruling party: 5 members,
Jobbik: 1 member,
democratic opposition: 0 members.

Interview with the member representing Jobbik:

https://atlatszo.hu/2016/05/04/nincs-harmadik-felido-nyikos-laszlo-a-jegybank-jobbikos-fb-tagja-az-mnb-ingatlanvasarlasairol/

Guest

O/T

The Times world universities list is out.

Semmelweiss comes top out of Hungarian universities – between 501-600 with the others at 601-800.

To get the actual listing you have to subscribe so it’s not possible to check on whether positions have improved unless you have access. However I doubt it with the restrictions that universities are now under

(Fodder for our trolls – Our top uni’s (the UK’s) have slipped and we have fewer in the top 100)

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings

Guest

Thanks, Charlie!

The positions are freely available – I’m really proud that our Schwab universities are among the top 100, though of course it’s difficult to compete with the private universities that get lots of money in the USA and the UK.
Oxford and Cambridge are still at no 2 and 4 btw …

Digi
Guest
This is just a mathematical possibility. Jobbik will never seem to move together on any issue with The Gyurcsány or The Bajnai (Együtt) even if the result is keeping Fidesz in power. And similarly, urban intellectuals from TGM to Agnes Heller would scream if the left-wing wanted to cooperate on any issue with Jobbik (aka the Nazis) and since the left-wing cares about its intellectuals this will not happen from their side either. Orban knows this very well. He is pretty lucky. The election system prefers big united parties and his opposition is made up of endless number of small parties made up of factions constantly bickering. Moreover it’s extremely easy to prevent any big coalition (Jobbik to MSZP to LMP). Only a few background people have to be bought so that they could prevent that unity from the inside. Since all of the parties (perhaps with the exception of DK and Együtt) are full of Fidesz moles, this is not a big issue, creating internal divisions is very easy. As a result the solution for the left-wing is to work hard to be able to appear as a united, charismatic force ready and able to face Orban. [This does… Read more »
Member

“But it is also possible that regardless of what we do or say the people—just like in Tapolca and in Salgótarján, in the former from left to right and in the latter from right to left–will vote for the candidate they think is most likely to succeed [against Fidesz]”

What exactly does “[against Fidesz]” in brackets mean? Did Gyurcsány say this, or was this addition in brackets added by Eva?

I live in the Tapolca region. And I can honestly say the thinking of the people here is far, far more complex than just voting “against Fidesz”. (With or without brackets).

Yes, there is a lot of election calculus in Hungary — i.e. wanting to vote for the most likely to win. But that does not necessarily mean, by default, this is singularly “against Fidesz”. After all, the current mayor of Tapolca is Jobbik, which says something about this region.

Wookie
Guest

A significant part of Hungary will vote for Fidesz no matter what. Such voters do like the present world and hate any and all “leftists” and “liberals” (whatever these terms mean).

Actually this portion of Hungary is very significant, much bigger than district XIII of Budapest which is probably the only surely red district in Hungary.

Rural Hungary is conservative , people there don’t care about sophisticated arguments and have hard time understanding them.

They want quick and simple (radical) solutions.

If the Left can’t offer quick and radical solutions but continues to offer to debate the issue and then deliberate and then involve experts and set up committees and then propose drafts and so on, then the Left is dead in the water in almost half of Hungary and the contest is reduced to the other half.

Member

“A significant part of Hungary will vote for Fidesz no matter what. ”

Agreed.

“Such voters do like the present world and hate any and all “leftists” and “liberals” (whatever these terms mean). ”

Also, I agree. But do so sadly. 🙁

Observer
Guest

Yes Guys, there are 1.2 – 1.5 million that would vote for Orban whatever, sod them.
The rest, however have been dropping off.
Grows the number of the “anything but Orban” ones.
Some historical numbers for Fidesz:
2002 – 2 307 k
2006 – 2 273 k
2010 – 2 743 k the financial crisis and the Gyurcsany story
2014 – 2 142 k + 123 k by letter from abroad = 2 265

MSZP used to have 2 350 k, for comparison.

So, it is doable. This is why the trolls have become so active and the regime jumpy (kapkodó).
Let’s make it simple:

Orban delenta est.

Guest

Yes, the trolls are crazily active here – though this is an “unimportant left leaning … (add whatever you may …) site”, really funny in a way.
Why are they so active here – all the time the same people appaear under different names …

My conclusion is:

If Hungarians really want it that way – O forever etc – then let them have it!
Most people will watch from the outside and those poor inside will leave as soon as possible, if they really want to . Those who like the system will stay!

It’s not really important – of course if Americans really want and vote for Trump – that would be different (but I hope that’s improbable too!)

Istvan
Guest

Eva correct me if I am wrong about this but I seem to recall an article in Népszabadság about a Fidesz faction meeting held I believe at the Four Seasons Hotel in Budapest where these discussed the possibility of facing a left/right block following the Fidesz defeat in Salgótarjánban. The reason I recall it was I have stayed at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace and was impressed by their conference facilities, which were state of the art. Another full interview with Ferenc Gyurcsány can be read at http://nol.hu/belfold/a-fidesz-a-jobbik-soft-valtozata-gyurcsany-egyikbol-sem-ker-1614281 he elaborates on many of the issues taken up in the discussion so far.

I believe Ferenc Gyurcsány was wrong when he told Somogyi Hírlap that: “Thus, a situation may occur—something Viktor Orbán hasn’t thought of—that left-right cooperation will take place over and above his “central power” scheme.” I think it’s fairly clear Orban has contemplated the left/right block possibility.

Wookie
Guest

Orban and his legal team contemplated a lot of things, they are usually many steps in front of their hapless adversaries.

Guest

What happened in the last months (internet tax, teachers, Sunday opening – just to name a few …) rather shows that O is generally two steps behind – no action, just reaction, and often late …

But you trolls cannot see that of course!

Member

“What happened in the last months (internet tax, teachers, Sunday opening – just to name a few …) rather shows that O is generally two steps behind – no action, just reaction, and often late …

But you trolls cannot see that of course!”

Until the Hungarian electorate sees that, they are not trolls, but Soothsayers.

And yes, by saying that I am being cruel by design and intent to “wake up” the electorate. 🙂

Rozsi
Guest

@stcoemgen

Until there is a strong united opposition party, “with new blood” how can anyone tell what the Hungarian electorate wants?

Member

Unfortunately, due to election law changes by Fidesz, Hungary will probably drift toward a two party system.

What those two parties will represent will be up to the Hungarian electorate.

In short, do now ask me what will happen. Rather, now is the time to define your own Hungarian Political future. 🙂

petofi
Guest

What utter nonsense: Orban has thought about stuff that opponents haven’t even dreamt about!

Lazarus
Guest

Paks 2 is back on track, the EU is about to give in (we always knew that).

Lazar is the man who gets the deal done.

http://nol.hu/gazdasag/egy-paksi-ugyben-enged-az-eu-1614367

Observer
Guest

@Lazarus

can’t read/comprehend or he is a standard lying Fidesz toad, because this article does not say any such thing, and it only presents János Lázár’s assertions. No mention that any deal was done.

Perfect example of this lowly species.

Champagne
Guest

OT:

this is a good article.

ATV, the supposedly left-leaning private TV owned by Hit Gyülekezete, a conservative (anti-Islam, anti-gay, pro-Israel) Evangelical Christian congregation started the day with a fear mongering “scoop”: “Migrants are sexually harassing white girls in Körmend”. Of course, it was a total lie but it was an effective lie as state media duly repeated it.

Which comes back to the fundamental issue: the left-wing opposition has no media of its own. It’s most sympathetic mass medium is a fundamental Christian TV.

I tell you this, as long as the opposition is so weak and poor and lacking in ambition that it does not even have a cable TV channel let alone a popular internet site, it will forever lose out. It’s that simple. The lack of media is a symptom of weakness (not a consequence of anything).

http://444.hu/2016/05/05/reggel-az-atv-keszsegesen-migransozik-delutan-a-kormany-kolnt-kialt-a-rendorseg-meg-kozben-ketsegbeesetten-cafol

spectator
Guest
Without absolute cooperation — between whoever really — there is no chance against the present establishment. Parties here and there cooperating not even comparable with a one time rally. Why? Because there is at least as much hatred toward each other as toward Orbán and his 40 (thousand) thief. The “If he/she will participate, I wouldn’t” — sounds familiar? What then? I’m still convinced (all by myself) that the working alternative shouldn’t stress on parties or ideologies, but a program about what they’ve agreed to do, and person(s) who will do it, given a chance. Every which way you try to look at the mess what needs to be cleaned out — the task, so to say — is far bigger than any one party has a capacity to clean up, take back the country from these gangsters and give back to the people. And without working consensus it will not hold even a mandate-period, let alone to give a solid, well needed foundation for the future of Hungary. Sounds pathetic, I know, but there isn’t another way to go. patching up, mending here and there, fixing as it comes won’t work this time. So it needs alliance, cooperation or… Read more »
Observer
Guest

Hear, hear!

Yes, cleaning up Hungary is like cleaning the Augean Stables and there is no Hercules around. The next best thing is some teamwork (admittedly not a Hungarian forte).

Never mind, everyone do their bit because

Orban delenta est.

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