Peter Marki-Zay - Photo: Facebook

Marki-Zay: Voters must choose between two visions for Hungary

Hungarians must choose between two opposing visions for their country when they head to the polls on April 3, Peter Marki-Zay, opposition's joint candidate for prime minister, said on Friday.

One of those visions is “Viktor Orbán’s Hungary” which has become “the European Union’s poorest and most corrupt country with the highest death rate,” Marki-Zay told an online press conference.

“But there’s another Hungary,” he said, “and we’re asking voters to support the platform for a prosperous Hungary.”

Marki-Zay said the opposition alliance was characterised by “full national unity”, as it was a grouping of “right and left-wingers, Jews, Christians, atheists, Roma and non-Roma people united in love and their desire to build a country on its way to prosperity with Western values”.

The joint election list of the six united opposition parties include their candidates and civil activists, he said, adding that “the list obviously includes our Roma brothers and sisters representing the Roma minority”.

Marki-Zay said he was certain that the opposition list would get more votes than that of ruling Fidesz, adding, at the same time, that the election would be decided by the individual races in the electoral districts. In past elections, when the opposition was fragmented, it was always the Fidesz candidates that came out on top in these races, he said. “But now there’s a real race.”

“Fidesz is scared, which is why they keep passing amendments that will allow them to cheat to stay in power, while also saving more and more positions for themselves,” he insisted.

He said the opposition was in for an “extraordinarily difficult and heroic battle” and asked voters residing in marginal districts “to help us there”. Even citizens living abroad who have given up their permanent address, he said, should register to vote in their old districts “because their votes matter”.

He said he was convinced that the opposition would complete a clean sweep of the Budapest districts and that the election would be decided outside the capital.

Marki-Zay also emphasised the significance of Judeo-Christian culture in Hungarian culture, adding that “this is obviously not represented by Viktor Orbán”.

“No one should think that stealing has anything to do with Christianity or Judaism,” he said. “Judaism is based on the Ten Commandments which includes ‘You shall not steal’. How can one call themselves a Christian … if they don’t follow the most basic rules of the Ten Commandments?”

Asked if he would apologise for a remark he had made in 2018 when he said an explanation he had given was “obvious to everyone except those who are disabled”, Marki-Zay said he would apologise to those with disabilities “for comparing them to Fidesz supporters”. “We love those with disabilities, in fact we also love Fidesz supporters,” he said.

Ruling Fidesz said in response that Marki-Zay, if he came to power, would scrap the government scheme that keeps a lid of utility bills.

“The left-wing opposition’s candidate has let slip several times what his real energy policy would be,” their statement said, adding that Marki-Zay had called the measure “stupid” and said consumers should rather use less electricity and gas.

Meanwhile, the price cap continues to leave 380,000 forints (EUR 1,000) in the pockets of Hungarian families each year, and Hungarian consumers pay the cheapest energy prices in Europe, the statement said.

A drastic hike in utility prices threatens Europe as a whole, the statement said, adding that the opposition “would expose Hungarians to the foreign energy lobby which would have them pay the highest energy prices”.

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