The strategy proved to work, with the help of which we broke the rule of Fidesz in the capital, most cities with county rights, and many settlements. The success of the opposition alliance is a psychological victory, and the partial strengthening of MSZP is a political victory that provides the basis for further development and the demolition of the system of Fidesz.
Even after we had joined forces in Parliament and on the streets in protest against the slave law, many wondered in doubt how the one-on-one fight in municipal elections would turn out. It was not easy, there were many compromises made on all sides, but we succeeded, and the electorate rewarded our efforts with their votes. I am proud to say that the strong opposition alliance, in the creation of which MSZP was the engine, successfully passed the test. We have shown that we can fight for each other and work together. We took an important step forward as we were able to suppress Fidesz in many places while the opposition, and within it the Hungarian Socialist Party, became stronger. Thanks to opposition voters!
Gergely Karácsony’s mayoral victory in the capital, the 14 mayoral victories of the opposition alliance in Budapest and its municipal board majority in 16 districts are a real breakthrough. I am proud that 7 of these mayors and half of the 18-member majority in the Municipal Assembly are members of the MSZP-Dialogue Association. We also achieved a breakthrough in the towns with county rights, as the opposition alliance gives ten mayors there instead of the three so far (Szeged, Salgótarján, Érd, Szombathely, Tatabánya, Eger, Dunaújváros, Hódmezővásárhely, Miskolc, Pécs) and further 3 towns’ general assembly has an opposition alliance majority (Szolnok, Szekszárd, Nagykanizsa). It was also a success that we managed to liberate another 100 settlements from Vác to Baja from the captivity of Fidesz. All in all, the strategy of the opposition alliance worked well, as we were able to succeed in many more settlements than five years ago.
We must not lose the trust capital we have just gained. It is essential that we really demonstrate at the municipal level what we actually believe in, namely that it is possibly to lead this country with clean hands, in a transparent and democratic way. It is not acceptable for any of our representatives to behave unethically or use public money for private purposes.
And now, a few thoughts about the future.
Today and in the years to come, a change of era is needed in Hungary. Because what we have today cannot and will not prevail! The Fidesz system oppresses those who think differently, mongers fear and imposes dictatorship on culture and science. It demolishes education and healthcare and destroys public services.
Fidesz governance the country the wrong way, our competitiveness is declining, wages are kept low, and most pensions do not even reach subsistence level: at least 3 million people in total can be referred to as poor.
It is now our job to further develop the coalition strategy and strengthen the left. Voters have chosen the right path. The achieved success provides the basis for further development and the establishment of an opposition election alliance by 2022. We have shown that if we do not fight each other, but rather join forces and offer a genuine election and governmental alternative in a lasting alliance, we will be able to truly challenge Fidesz when the time comes.
October 13 also marked the beginning of a new era in the sense that opposition mayors can now form a municipal alliance of free cities and settlements. I hope that together they will be able to assert their interests in Brussels and at home.
MSZP will help their work, as it can lead to another change of regime. I could also say that MSZP is a regime changing party, which has once already helped Hungary’s transition from state socialism to liberal democracy. But it is also a party to the regime change in the sense that MSZP will be the engine of the replacement of the Fidesz system. I am convinced that the historic task of the Socialists is to abolish Fidesz’ autocratic system, restore democracy and make the market economy fairer. Back then and now, it was equally crucial that the forces interested in establishing democracy were able to cooperate despite their different ideologies.
We must now work to strengthen all democratic opposition parties in the next period, primarily in the countryside, but not at each other’s expense , but specifically with the aim of breaking Fidesz' lead in counties and small towns. MSZP is ready to be the engine in creating a strong left-wing pole that can be an equal partner for the liberal parties in 2022.
The new era has begun; it is up to us to complete the transition. Together we will make it!
President of MSZP