Attila Mesterhazy - Photo: Facebook

Former Socialist leader quitting party to set up new formation

Attila Mesterhazy, a one-time leader of the opposition Socialist Party, has announced that he is quitting the party and founding a new social democratic formation.

The Socialist leadership has been pursuing a bad strategy for years, he said, explaining his decision on Facebook on Tuesday, adding that the party was by now a “shadow of its former self”.

The Socialists, the successor of Hungary’s communist party, has consistently polled below the 5 percent threshold for seats in parliament in recent surveys.

Mesterhazy is joining with Laszlo Szakacs, a former official of the leftist Democratic Coalition, to set up a new social democratic party called Socialists and Democrats.

He said DK alone was not attractive to many social democratic voters.

The Socialists said in response that the party acknowledged Mesterhazy’s decision. The Socialists would continue pursuing politics for a free, democratic and fair Hungary, it said in a statement, and work towards combatting the cost of living crisis, to achieve a real wage increase and counterbalance the consequences of the government’s ill-fated economic policies.

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