It can be heard more and more frequently from sources inside the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) that László Botka seems not to have considered his candidacy for prime minister sufficiently seriously. Consequently, he has created a situation in which he is the only person for whom a presumable failure would not hold any risks. What is sure is that the unfolding of the "Lengyel saloon" (László Lengyel is an economist, political analyst and the CEO of Financial Research Ltd. and the organizer of negotiations between Botka, the MSZP, Együtt and Párbeszéd parties, without the involvement of the Democratic Coalition) has diverted the opposition cooperation towards chaos rather than an agreement – at least according to Socialist sources.
"Two Lacis demolished the left-wing" – this opinion is heard from inside the party and the Socialists hope that now when the cooperation, which seemed to be in reach in December, has turned into chaos, Botka will also help them to straighten things out.
It might have been more fortunate if Botka had previously consulted with the leadership of MSZP, for instance with regard to his negotiation strategy, but he has not done so. And, reputedly, even in the past month the only communications between Botka and his party were about daily topic. Luckily, they were able to receive a promise from Botka that he would visit the parliamentary group meeting in preparation for the spring session of the Parliament.
MSZP is concerned that the right-wing dominated media would start to mock the unsuccessful casting again. As such, the voters, seeing the disorder, would increasingly alienate from the left-wing and, even if they go to vote at all, it is uncertain whether they would give preference to the candidates of the parties involved in a cooperation. It is certainly true that from among all players, the Socialists have the most to lose.
For the time being, the only way out one can see could be that mayor Botka, as the candidate for prime minister, changes his earlier criteria which, theoretically, cannot be met by anyone, and the negotiations would be restarted. However, this time putting all the cards on the table. Alternatively, Botka can give up the candidacy and the Socialists can try to find another candidate with whom they have a chance to collaborate.
The party and his candidate have chosen the former solution, at least in the sense that this week, László Botka and Gyula Molnár (chairman of the Socialist party) go ahead with consultations with the left-wing political groups. Surprisingly for almost everyone, they began with LMP.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 February 2017 06:51