Budapest mayor Gergely Karacsony

Fidesz Budapest: Karacsony ‘counts on far right’

Fidesz said on Wednesday that Gergely Karacsony, Budapest's mayor, "counts on far-right support when it comes to his desire to become prime minister". Fidesz's Budapest organisation on Facebook said the nationalist Jobbik party lacked deputies in the metropolitan assembly because Budapest voters "did not want of them" in the 2019 municipal elections.

“But Gergely Karacsony and his advisors think that Jobbik’s votes in certain parts of the country will be needed” for him to become prime minister, Fidesz said, referring to an event in which the Budapest mayor “embraced” a Jobbik candidate who had “made anti-Semitic remarks in a local election”.

Fidesz insisted that under the coronavirus-related special legal order, “the mayor is making unilateral decisions on behalf of the metropolitan assembly and committees” regarding appointments of people linked to Jobbik.

“Under the latest decision, Karacsony appointed Akos Szijjarto, Jobbik’s former deputy in the city assembly’s economic committee,” as president of the board of Budapest Brand Nonprofit Zrt, a company set up with 1.3 billion forints  (EUR 3.6m) in 2021 to design Budapest’s brand and tourism strategy, it said.

The group also noted the appointment of Zoltan Bodor, who organised a demonstration at the Israeli embassy against “Zionist genocide” as president of the board of the Budapest Ujszinhaz theatre, as well as appointments of Jobbik officials “to fill well-paying positions” in the supervisory board of Budapest Film and Budapest Sewage Works.

“It is in vain that voters in Budapest decided in 2019 that they don’t want the far right, Gergely Karacsony’s ambitions and interests override their will. This is the Karacsony liberal democracy,” Fidesz said.

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