Demeter, who stepped away from the Socialists in January, told news portal Index that she was not for the time being joining LMP but "our joint work that is now official may lead to entry into the party".

She said that after the 2018 general election she intended to take an active role in political life but was as yet undecided how exactly. This would depend on LMP's various bodies and the electorate.

Demeter said the reason she had left the Socialist Party was it had become clear that "they are willing to cooperate with Fidesz at any time, whether individually or with their business interests, thereby helping the regime to stay in power". She called this a betrayal of Socialist voters and activists.

LMP has appointed Demeter deputy chairwoman of parliament's budget committee, replacing Erzsebet Schmuck, LMP's deputy group leader. Demeter boosts the number of LMP parliamentary committee representatives to two.

Given that LMP's group is expanding to six members, the party will request a place on the economic committee, with Schmuck keen to take this position.

LMP is selecting candidates for individual seats in next year's parliamentary election and will put forward Demeter as a candidate. Demeter said voters who had lost faith in the leftist parties that had cooperated in the 2014 general election would see LMP as a "credible" choice.

"LMP is working to unseat the current [Fidesz-led] regime and reform the entire system." She called LMP a community with the potential "to fill the gap" in the political centre. "Only those politicians who put the public interest first, not their own interests, can bring about change."

LMP group leader Bernadett Szél said: "The relationship between Demeter and LMP has always been based on mutual decision-making and this will remain so in the future. Everybody will have an equal chance when it comes to weighing up candidates [for 2018]."

Szél said LMP was open to every individual or community that wants to oust the government of Viktor Orbán and reform Hungarian public life.

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