Gergely Karacsony – Photo: Facebook

Socialists back Budapest mayor in opposition primary

Karacsony calls for ‘change, making amends’ as he announces candidacy for prime minister

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony, the Parbeszed party's candidate for prime minister in the opposition's primary election, outlined his election platform on Saturday, saying that Hungary was in need of "change and making amends" so that "a better life is not a privilege of just the top one percent of society".

The country should serve “the 99 percent rather than a few”, Karacsony said, underscoring the need for a Hungary in which “upward mobility is easier and it is more difficult to fall into poverty”.

Karacsony said the “restoration of democracy” should be coupled with “justice and making amends for the legal, moral, and material damage caused by the majority in the past more than one decade”. Hungary needs “another dethronement to repair a damaged and sick democracy,” he said, adding that “the throne should be removed from Hungarian politics so that being in power will no longer mean reign but service”.

“What we need is not just a changing of the guard or a rematch, but real change, accountability and compensation rather than revenge,” the mayor said. He added that he would not accept “politics being equal to corruption, irresponsibility, and showing off”.

“We must leave divisions behind so that Hungary can be reunited,” Karacsony said.

After the pandemic, the country will need “more sustainable and more humane policies”, he said. “The future will either be green or there will be no future at all,” Karacsony said, calling for a greater focus on green and social issues.

Concerning the opposition primary election, Karacsony said candidates “should not be competing to see who has the biggest vocabulary to defame the government”, but rather to determine “who is able to keep together and reinforce the opposition alliance”.

“We’re not looking for a leader of the opposition, but a person to lead the whole country,” he said.

Karacsony said the opposition needed the contributions of conservatives and liberals alike to stop “the one percent that has now lost all checks and balances”, and proposed a “Movement 99” to promote a change in Hungary “not in place of the parties but alongside them”.

Karacsony said his movement already had the support of personalities such as former state secretary Jozsef Angyan, philosopher Janos Kiss, former central bank governor Peter Akos Bod, sociologist Zsuzsa Ferge and actor-director Robert Alfoldi. He added that the movement was drafting a programme that would establish the directions for “a cohesive society and the rule of law”.

Socialists back Karacsony in opposition primary

The Socialist Party will support Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony for the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate in the opposition primary ahead of next year’s general elections.

According to a statement sent to MTI on Saturday, the Socialists and Karacsony’s allied Parbeszed party see the mayor as a “young and modern” politician, who, as prime minister, would be a “committed supporter” of the Socialists’ programme.

The Socialists said that as prime minister, Karacsony could “rebuild the rule of law in Hungary” where “the press will again be free and the law will apply to all”. They also voiced hope that under a new government “everybody could prosper according to their talent and skills, the needy would get help as a matter of fact and social security would be a priority”.

Karacsony, they added, would devote close attention to the protection of natural assets and work to raise climate awareness and promote green energies.

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