Election 2022

An interview with the leader of the united opposition

The prime ministerial candidate of the united opposition is refreshingly rational and frank. A new interview appeared with him – these are the highlights. Since we know so little about the united opposition, these interviews are perhaps important for foreign readers as well.

Márki-Zay gave a long interview to szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu. These are the highlights:

  • He says they expect to see opposition politicians to be arrested during the campaign.

Not necessarily for political reasons, but the prosecution will look into them closer and the Orbánist media will start unloading dirt on them in time for the campaign. One opposition politician has already been banned from her party as she lied about her degree on her CV.

  • Orbánists are fighting for their freedom, not just for winning the elections. According to Márki-Zay they are aware that they will be held accountable in case of a defeat so anything can be expected from them.
  • He says that the outrages about his words are manufactured and blown out of proportion and context. They are thus unavoidable.

According some of the seasoned opposition parties Péter Márki-Zay is not focused enough and says things he shouldn’t. On the other hand people are extremely tired of and disillusioned with these old opposition parties. And besides, much of the outrage surrounding what Márki-Zay said are artificially manufactured and carefully built-up campaigns. In other words, there would be outrage about something, even if Márki-Zay hadn’t said those things.

Márki-Zay is forever accused of being too controversial and in this case he is right. Maybe the non-Orbánists should have better things to do than picking at nuances about their candidates and obligingly confront him with the things the Orbánist media came up with – just to repeat the claims.

  • The temporary campaign silence by the opposition has been partly intentional, partly unavoidable. The primaries made opposition parties to fight one another – those emptions needed to subside.

It is also unnerving how the very same person can lament the perennial campaign of Orbán (they started their 2022 campaign in around January 2021) and that the (impoverished) opposition only campaigns during official campaign season. Which only just began, by the way. Aren’t we all better off when politicians only agitate us for a few months every four years? Do we need their hysterical warmongering in our face all the time? If anything there should be a more serious ban on campaigning out of campaign season. Even if it is “government information campaign”. We have lost the battle on using our tax money on advertising themselves back to us – at least we should claim our sanity back.

  • He talks about “opposition” commentators who are really work for Fidesz, but doesn’t name any of them.

He is right, they exist. Picking fight with them would be pointless. They gain anti-Orbán credentials by attacking Orbán and thus attracting an engaged opposition crowd. Then hey also attack the opposition politicians ad thus make the non-Orbán voters feel that everything is futile and there is no point to all this. Their pose of being so pure and above-it-all that they equally bash both sides makes them impossible to be dragged down from the pedestal. But in the end their sole effect is to keep anti-Orbán voters disgusted and at home. They pose as being outside of politics – but they are really players.

  • He mentions the tools Fidesz uses in districts: seeking out former opposition politicians and offer them 100 thousand euros to run against the united opposition candidate. Convincing the actual opposition candidate to resign days before the elections. Buying off gypsy votes for 15, then 40 euros before elections.
  • He calls the Orbán-government the most corrupt in Hungary’s thousand-year history.
  • He expects fewer fake parties to appear on the ballot (four years ago the voting sheet was the size of an old fashioned broadsheet daily from all the fake parties that were financially encouraged by Orbán’s election law to collect or forge enough signatures to run against existing parties)
  • He calls the billionaire businessman who announced his intention to enter the elections in December (out of the blue as he hasn’t shown any interest in politics) Orbán’s man who was encouraged to run in order to shave off a few percent of the opposition results. (A common Fidesz tactic.)
  • Márki-Zay thinks that Orbán will only be forced to debate him if his own voters start to expect it.

Márki-Zay challenged Orbán for a prime ministerial debate but Orbán refuses to even acknowledge it. He spent a spokesman to call Márki-Zay just a front for alleged puppeteers behind him. But he also refuses to debate the alleged puppeteers.

  • He claims that the anti-Orbán voters are the majority, they just need to be herded under one flag.

The whole interview in Hungarian.

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