David Vitezy – Photo: Facebook

Budapest mayoral candidate Vitezy unveils manifesto

David Vitezy, a candidate for mayor of Budapest backed by opposition LMP and a local association, unveiled his manifesto on Friday, promising to take the running of the city away from party politicians and put it in the hands of professional managers and vowing to build thousands of units of affordable housing.

Vitezy also pledged a new transport police force and five new tram lines, as well as cooperation with the central government on revamping the HEV suburban railway.

He also promised to “fight” to improve hospital conditions and to create new public parks, stressing the importance of green public areas and high-standard Danube river banks.

The economist who specialises in transport and mobility also pledged to put a scheme in place to resurface many of the city’s roads and to provide a “culture coupon” worth 10,000 forints to all Budapest residents.

Also, he said a new animal protection shelter would be established, and he promised that Budapest would once again have an amusement park.

He also called for giving new momentum to the upgrade of prefab homes, the protection of Budapest’s built heritage and vowed to establish a consulting office aimed at assisting in the upgrade of apartment buildings.

He said his manifesto also included the revamp of two dozen major junctions in the city’s outer districts, and he pledged to immediately call a new tram tender if elected. He also promised that one-third of Budapest’s public transport bus fleet would be electric by the end of his term.

Vitezy said the drafting of his 101-point manifesto had been coordinated by 25 experts and had taken into account the opinions of 5,673 Budapest residents. The candidate said he considered the document “a kind of job application”.

He called for “real urban development”, which he said meant that “instead of saying no to everything and . making excuses”, the city’s leadership needed to develop Budapest and build partnerships in line with a clear strategy.

Vitezy called for cooperation between Budapest and the European Union, international investors, the districts, the city’s agglomeration and the government “wherever we can find common ground”.

He said he was running for mayor because he believed no one was addressing Budapest’s biggest problems. He insisted that “the two major political sides have turned Budapest into a battlefield” and were “constantly pointing the finger at each other and complaining” instead of developing the city.

He said the capital was made up of more than just “the downtown tourism hub”, but the outer districts had been “abandoned” by politicians, and it was time to change that.

Vitezy criticised incumbent mayor Gergely Karacsony’s time in office, saying he had failed to deliver on most of his campaign promises. He said the administration had failed to implement a vigorous green city policy and had become too focused on national politics.

Meanwhile, Koloman Brenner, the Jobbik-Conservatives candidate, said on Facebook today that he was standing aside and would support Vitezy.

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