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Conservative weekly: Opposition Socialists collaborate with ruling Fidesz

Hungarian weekly Heti Válasz published a story purporting to prove that Fidesz is keeping Hungary's largest left-wing party alive in the interest of preventing other democratic opposition parties from expanding their voter base.

The weekly highlights three such examples in which Fidesz allegedly channeled funds to individuals and businesses with strong ties to MSZP, including lucrative state advertising contracts to print publications owned by former MSZP treasurer László Puch.
The article came out after that last Friday, MSZP leaders, party chairman Gyula Molnár and parliamentary group leader Bertalan Tóth submitted their own recommendations for the bill. As the Fidesz controlled parliament is in the habit of rejecting opposition proposals out of hand, the fact that it did not do so raised a few eyebrows, as this opens the possibility of negotiations between MSZP and Fidesz over the bill. Jobbik immediately responded by accusing MSZP of having entered into a pact with Fidesz.
Strategically, it makes perfect sense politically for MSZP to work with Fidesz. Simicska's support of Jobbik gives Hungary's radical right-wing party a leg-up. Jobbik has MSZP beat in the polls. From the point of view of the Socialists, any move that weakens Jobbik is worth considering.
According to Index, Fidesz contacted MSZP's leadership and expressed their willingness to modify parts of the bill providing MSZP agreed to vote along with Fidesz in favor of restricting the placement of political advertisements outside of campaign season.
On Tuesday, MSZP's executive board convened to discuss how to frame this narrative so that rather than coming across as a secret deal made behind closed doors, it would be perceived as an attempt by MSZP to carve out a more advantageous position for itself. Attending Tuesday's meeting, Botka reportedly shot down the idea of compromising with Fidesz, taking the position that MSZP should neither support nor propose modifications to the bill. The executive board accepted Botka's position, and the party backed away from any collaboration with Fidesz.
However, the fact that certain MSZP politicians were willing to compromise lends credence to the notion that some kind of collaboration exists between Fidesz and the country's largest left-wing party.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 June 2017 19:08

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