Peter Marki-Zay - Photo: Wikipedia

Marki-Zay 'posing as conservative' to get more votes - analyst

Dobrev: Peter Marki-Zay prime ministerial candidate of six-party opposition alliance

Klara Dobrev of the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has congratulated to Peter Marki-Zay, leader of the Everyone's Hungary Movement (MMM), for his success at the opposition primary.

Dobrev, an MEP who ran as DK’s prime ministerial candidate at the opposition primary, told a press conference online that starting from Sunday evening, Marki-Zay is the joint prime ministerial candidate of the six-party opposition alliance.

Peter Marki-Zay of the Everyone’s Hungary Movement (Mindenki Magyarorszaga Mozgalom, MMM) won the opposition’s primary election with 371,560 votes (56.71 percent), the primary’s Facebook page said late on Sunday. Klara Dobrev garnered 283,677 votes, or 43.29 percent, the page said.

The first round of the opposition primary to elect a joint candidate of DK, Jobbik, LMP, Momentum, the Socialists and Parbeszed was held between September 18 and 28, and ended with Dobrev in first place with 34.76 percent of the vote. Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony came in second with 27.31 percent and Marki-Zay in third place (20.01 percent). Karacsony then withdrew from the race and backed Marki-Zay, who went on to win the second round held between October 10 and 16.

At a press conference held shortly before the official results were announced on Sunday night, Marki-Zay pledged to build a “new, purer Hungary”.

“Fidesz or no Fidesz” remains the crucial question after the primaries, said Marki-Zay, who is currently serving as the mayor of Hodmezovasarhely, in southeast Hungary. A steadfast unity in the opposition parties is key to taking over power, he said.

Meanwhile, ruling Fidesz’s measures to “cement party minions” at the head of key institutions shows they are “expecting to fail”, he said. “The way [from here] is not to the left or right, but onwards and upwards,” he said.

Marki-Zay said Dobrev had called him to congratulate on his win. He thanked all those heping his campaign as well as DK voters, and said he wanted to “fight together to topple the Orban regime”.

Besides rising to power, the opposition will “build a new culture” where hate campaigns and blackmailing politicians will be unacceptable, he said. “The elections will not be free because one of the teams will have to play with their legs bound,” but the oposition will win even so, he insisted. The opposition will aim to deploy 22,000 activists to election committees, and offer a “whistleblower’s fee” to thwart election fraud, he said.

Marki-Zay ‘posing as conservative’ to get more votes – analyst

Peter Marki-Zay “is merely posing as a conservative to attract more votes”, according to political analyst Daniel Deak.

Deak, chief analyst of the 21st Century Institute, told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio on Sunday that Marky-Zay’s “conservative” label was a “communications stunt” aimed at winning over voters outside the left-wing base, arguing that the Hodmezovasarhely mayor “doesn’t believe that opposition voters alone are enough to win an election”.

Deak said the opposition primary debates had already revealed that Marki-Zay “isn’t thinking of implementing a right-wing election programme at all”. He also cited past remarks from Marki-Zay in which the mayor urged cooperation with Democratic Coalition leader and former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany and spoke highly of his infamous 2006 speech to a closed event of the Socialist Party in Balatonoszod, in which Gyurcsany admitted to lying about the state of the economy to win the election.

Erik Toth, chief analyst of the Centre for Fundamental Rights, said the opposition’s primary election was planned out ahead of time. He said it had been expected that one of the prime ministerial candidates would withdraw and that there had not been as many electoral district candidates running as there could have been. Such arrangements were not possible without “backroom deals”, he said.

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