Peter Marki-Zay - Photo: MTI

Marki-Zay: ‘We are at the gates of victory’

After four years of work, the opposition is "at the gates of victory," Peter Marki-Zay, the prime ministerial candidate of the united opposition, said at the alliance's campaign closing event on Saturday.

In the past four years, the opposition has grasped the importance of cooperation, he said.

This year, “six parties are running in full harmony, with a joint list containing three Roma candidates, and a wonderful programme,” he told the crowd filling downtown Madach Square in Budapest.

Marki-Zay insisted Fidesz was in “big trouble”, or they wouldn’t spread “lies about the opposition wanting to scrap pensions and the minimum wage, facilitating gender reassignment surgery for kindergarten pupils, or sending our children to Ukraine to die”. “Only brainwashed, hoodwinked, unfortunate people can believe that someone would run with such a programme,” he said.

Instead, if the alliance of the Democratic Coalition, Jobbik, LMP, the Socialists, Momentum and Parbeszed clinched power, they would exempt the minimum wage from PIT, “pass a real child protection law,” and double family allowances and the minimum pension, he said.

The opposition would introduce instances of free private health care, rather than imposing fees on public health care. They will introduce the euro and curb inflation until that is done, he said.

The border fence would stay in place, but the new government would bring the European Union’s border guard to Hungary as well as setting up its own, he said.

They would “investigate tens of thousands of migrants Fidesz has allowed into the country,” he added.

Hungary will join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office as the first step to “turn it back from being a country without consequences”, he said.

He pledged to raise the “whole Hungarian Roma community” and to help those most in need.

The united opposition and the ruling parties are “neck-and-neck”, and “every single vote can decide the race,” he said.

The basis of their victory, he said, would be young people “who will convince their parents and grandparents to replace the most corrupt government of the country’s thousand-year history”.

Regarding foreign policy, Marki-Zay said Orbán had “become a shame in Europe”, and had lost the support of NATO, without which Hungary cannot be protected.

Orbán “constantly lies” about the war in Ukraine, and has changed his mind “four times in two weeks” on allowing NATO troops into Hungary, he said. “But the most pathetic lie is to accuse the opposition of all that,” he said.

Marki-Zay insisted that Orbán had “betrayed the nation, NATO, Europe and the Hungarians in Transcarpathia”.

On Sunday, “we can regain our pride so we can say proudly all over the world, I am Hungarian,” he said.

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony called for a “reunification” of Hungary, and said the opposition could now show that “Orbán does not equal Hungary.”

As a former prime ministerial candidate who stepped back in favour of Marki-Zay at the opposition primary last autumn, Karacsony said Marki-Zay had the best chance to “lead the country out of the moral, economic and spiritual crisis Orbán’s government has thrust it into”.

The opposition stands for a democratic, fair, green, European Hungary, which does not pitch Europe and the nation or city and countryside against each other but sees them as complementing each other, he said.

“Putin’s vile war has tossed Orbán’s 12-year politics to the dungheap of history,” he said.

Hungary must belong to the West rather than eastern dictatorships, and must serve peace, he said.

Besides the united opposition’s Budapest candidates, pastor Gabor Ivanyi, the founder of the Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship, and musician Andras Hajos also gave speeches.

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