Kálmán and DK MEP-elect Klára Dobrev announced Kálmán's candidacy, with Dobrev saying they had already notified Socialist-Párbeszéd candidate Gergely Karácsony, to whom DK had earlier pledged support.

Dobrev said DK's agreement with Karácsony had ensured DK's support for the first round of the pre-election of opposition candidates. All parties would want "a really exciting political debate," she said, adding that the decision would not affect DK's agreements with other opposition parties at district level. She confirmed that DK would back the winner of the second round of the pre-election in the autumn local elections.

Kálmán had shown herself to be an "ardent and uncompromising opponent of (Prime Minister) Viktor Orbán's regime" as well as of the incumbent mayor, Istvan Tarlos, who "unconditionally serves the prime minister in every way", Dobrev said. Kálmán would "unite rather than divide" Budapest residents who wanted change. Kálmán was "not a political party member nor has she ever been".

Dobrev said that if elected mayor, Kálmán would "make the atmosphere in Budapest freer" and fight against "shady deals".

Kálmán said the public wants new players in Hungarian political life, and she and Dobrev would both be glad to see more women in the arena. She said she seeks a broad public support and, if she were to win the pre-election, would rely on support from the voters of the Socialist, Momentum and ruling Fidesz parties. "Restoring Budapest to its residents is a priority," Kálmán said.

In response, Karácsony said a larger number of opposition candidates running in the pre-election rounds would give greater legitimacy to whomever is chosen to challenge Tarlos in the autumn.

In a video message posted on Facebook, Karácsony said he was glad to receive the news of Kálmán's candidacy. He added, however, that until now he had been backed by DK. "C'est la vie, this is how politics is, apparently," he said.

Karácsony said he not only strove to win the pre-election and the actual ballot but to tackle the most acute problems burdening Budapest residents, such as air pollution, "skyrocketing" property prices and poverty affecting an increasing number of people. He pledged to run on a green, left-wing programme.


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