Socialist co-leaders Agnes Kunhalmi (l) and Imre Komjathi - Photo: Facebook

Socialists elect Kunhalmi, Komjathi co-leaders

The opposition Socialist Party elected Agnes Kunhalmi and Imre Komjathi co-leaders at its congress in Budapest on Saturday.

Kunhalmi and Komjathi were the only two candidates for the posts. Kunhalmi, who was re-elected after serving as co-leader alongside Bertalan Toth since 2020, received 90 percent of the vote and Komjathi 89 percent.

Of the 237 valid votes cast, Kunhalmi received 214 and Komjathi 211, the party’s press department told MTI.

The announcement of the outcome of the leadership election and the speeches given by the elected co-leaders were streamed on the party’s Facebook page.

In his speech, Komjathi urged the opposition parties to cooperate in the 2024 local elections the same way they did in 2019 and to field candidates on a joint list in the European Parliament elections.

He said he wanted the Socialist Party to be the voice of the working people who had yet to be heard by those in power.

He said that in addition to the global crisis, Hungary was also plagued by a “private crisis called the Fidesz government”. He said the party needed to stand up for those who “had no hope” and also had to represent those who did not vote in the spring but now felt “deceived, disappointed and lost”.

Komjathi said the Socialists were “the only purely left-wing party” and their platform was based on saving freedom, legal certainty and democracy, creating equal opportunities and social security and ending social injustice, as well as strengthening environmental protection and enforcing climate justice.

Kunhalmi said the party needed to break with crisis-management policies based on austerity and reforms forced onto society from above.

Hungary today is plagued by crises to which ruling Fidesz has responded with austerity measures, she added.

Kunhalmi said a return to pre-2010 policies would not help with overcoming the current crisis and new, truly left-wing responses and a leftist economic policy turnaround were needed.

Over the last 12 years, the Socialists have failed to confront their tenure in power before 2010, she said, adding that this also meant that they had not recognised their achievements like the reduction of inequality and the introduction of the 13th month wage, either.

Reflecting on the outcome of the 2022 general election, Kunhalmi said that if the opposition parties had contested the ballot on their own, they would have done even worse. As regards the next election, she said the Socialists would field a candidate of their own to contest the opposition primary.

She said the parties that were open to cooperation and restarting dialogue showed that they were focused on fighting the government instead of each other.

The congress is also scheduled to elect the party’s deputy leaders, the head and members of its national board and other officials.

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