Socialists: No Cooperation With Fidesz

  • 21 Jun 2017 8:14 AM
Socialists: No Cooperation With Fidesz
The Socialist Party is going to steer clear of any cooperation with ruling Fidesz as they aim to topple Fidesz in the 2018 general election, the party’s press chief told a press briefing. The party will therefore refrain from submitting a proposal for Friday’s special parliamentary session, dedicated to the regulation of political billboard ads outside of the campaign period.

A Socialist proposal “might have benefited Fidesz” and the Socialists want to avoid all forms of cooperation, even that of Fidesz supporting one of the Socialists’ proposals, István Nyakó said. This is a departure from the party’s standpoint on Monday, when five parliamentary parties held talks on the Socialists’ proposal on the bill.

The “billboard bill”, a piece of legislation aiming to ban political advertising on billboards outside of campaign periods, was sent back to parliament by President János Áder for reconsideration last week.

Nyakó said that the change of approach was due to Socialist Prime Minister candidate László Botka “introducing a new political era in the party”. “No cooperation with Fidesz is accepted and anyone who goes against this would be excluded from the Socialist Party”, he said.

At a press briefing on the Friday parliamentary session, Fidesz group leader Lajos Kósa said that the current system “facilitates black campaign financing”. He cited the example of green opposition party LMP’s billboard costs being higher than radical nationalist Jobbik’s as an example of the current legislation being inadequate.

“This is open corruption”, he said.

Deputy Fidesz leader Gergely Gulyás slammed the Socialists’ proposal as unconstitutional and unacceptable, citing parts of it as “restricting the freedom of opinion” in suggesting that campaign players should register and that government or foreign-funded organisations should be banned from contributing to the campaign.

He said that Botka was blocking the proposal because “he eyes black money to finance the Socialist campaign or he is also on Simicska’s payroll”. Jobbik group leader

János Volner told a press conference that Fidesz and the Socialists “have already agreed” on voting the billboard bill into law. The “backchannel agreements” are already in place, with Fidesz “holding the Socialists in check” with economic pressure and criminal proceedings, he said.

Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.

MTI photo: Kelemen Zoltán Gergely

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