Karacsony withdraws from opposition prime ministerial primary, backs Marki-Zay
At a news conference in front of Parliament, Karacsony, who ran as the joint candidate of his Parbeszed party, the Socialists and green LMP, asked his supporters to vote for Marki-Zay in the second round of the primary.
Karacsony finished runner-up in the first round behind the Democratic Coalition’s Klara Dobrev and ahead of third-placed Marki-Zay.
Despite garnering 170,000 votes in the first round, Karacsony said he was now calling for support of a “centre-right politician with whom I have disputes on issues such as taxation”. He praised Marki-Zay as a “fair and honest man who is ready to serve, and who loves his country more than he loves power”.
“If I hadn’t taken this step, [Prime Minister] Viktor Orban would stay and our political differences would not matter,” he said.
“Those who do not make sacrifices at times like these are not patriots,” he said.
Marki-Zay said he would join the Budapest mayor’s 99 Movement “as a show of respect” for Karacsony, who “had shown that he puts the country above all else”.
Marki-Zay, who is serving as mayor of the southern city of Hodmezovasarhely, said Dobrev’s support was also needed for a change of government at next spring’s election. Should Dobrev win the nomination, however, she couldn’t garner “the three million votes needed to topple Orban”, he said.
“Unfortunately, I am your only hope today,” Marki-Zay summed up his message to voters.
Marki-Zay expressed hope that Orban would not mobilise masses for supporting Dobrev in the primary. Those who cast their vote on Dobrev will actually vote for Orban,” he said.