Klara Dobrev (r) and Ferenc Gyurcsany – Photo: MTI

DK, Socialists, Parbeszed hold election campaign launch rally

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK), Socialist Party and Parbeszed held a joint rally to launch their European Parliament and local council election campaigns in Budapest on Sunday.

Addressing the event, DK MEP Klara Dobrev said voters would be judging Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government in the June 9 ballot. “If the majority on June 9 says they don’t want any more part of this kind of governance, then we will start fighting for early elections and won’t rest until we oust them,” Dobrev said.

She said that though the three parties were diverse, they were united in their goal “to end the Orban regime”. Dobrev said the alliance between the three parties was not just about the ongoing campaign, but had been formed with the purpose of “dismantling Orban’s regime and then creating a liveable, European Hungary”.

She said the government was one of “shame and failure”, insisting that “millions have reason to hope that it fails as soon as possible”.

The MEP said she wanted Hungary to be a strong state that gave everyone access to free education and health care.

Gergely Karacsony, the mayor of Budapest, called on voters to support free local councils and “a European Hungary” on June 9, saying free local councils were the “bridgehead” of the idea of the republic and a European Hungary.

He said Budapest was a republic and would remain so, adding that the city could only grow if voters decided to “keep it free” in the June election.

The mayor said Greens and social democrats were “the strongest of allies” because they both served justice.

Karacsony said he was proud of his five-year term as Budapest’s mayor, saying “we do what we say and we say what we think.”

Kata Tutto, a deputy mayor of Budapest and MEP candidate of DK, the Socialists and Parbeszed, said that in the EP she aimed to work to improve the situation of women, gain friends for Hungary and strengthen social democracy.

Nicolas Schmit, the spitzenkandidat of the Party of European Socialists (PES), said the stakes of an EP election had never been higher. He said the election would be a choice between a right-wing Europe held by the “far right” and a progressive Europe led by social democrats.

Ruling Fidesz said in reaction that DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsany and the left had “wrecked the country once already”.

The party said in a statement that if it were up to Gyurcsany and the left, they would “take Hungary to war”, arguing that Gyurcsany himself had written that those who did not want to die for Ukraine were “bad people”

At stake on June 9 is whether there will be war or peace, Fidesz said. The government and the ruling parties want peace, while the left is on the side of war, the statement said.

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