Budapest Mayor Withdraws From Opposition Prime Ministerial Primary, Backs Márki-Zay

  • 11 Oct 2021 6:33 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Budapest Mayor Withdraws From Opposition Prime Ministerial Primary, Backs Márki-Zay
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony on Friday announced that he is withdrawing from the opposition’s prime ministerial primary election and will back Péter Márki-Zay, leader of the Everyone’s Hungary Movement (MMM), in the second round of the nomination contest.

At a news conference in front of Parliament, Karácsony, who ran as the joint candidate of his Párbeszéd party, the Socialists and green LMP, asked his supporters to vote for Márki-Zay in the second round of the primary.

Karácsony finished runner-up in the first round behind the Democratic Coalition’s Klára Dobrev and ahead of third-placed Márki-Zay.

Despite garnering 170,000 votes in the first round, Karácsony said he was now calling for support of a “centre-right politician with whom I have disputes on issues such as taxation”.

He praised Márki-Zay as a “fair and honest man who is ready to serve, and who loves his country more than he loves power”.

“If I hadn’t taken this step, [Prime Minister] Viktor Orbán would stay and our political differences would not matter,” he said.

“Those who do not make sacrifices at times like these are not patriots,” he said.

Márki-Zay said he would join the Budapest mayor’s 99 Movement “as a show of respect” for Karácsony, who “had shown that he puts the country above all else”.

Márki-Zay, who is serving as mayor of the southern city of Hódmezővásárhely, said Dobrev’s support was also needed for a change of government at next spring’s election.

Should Dobrev win the nomination, however, she couldn’t garner “the three million votes needed to topple Orbán”, he said.

“Unfortunately, I am your only hope today,” Márki-Zay summed up his message to voters.

Márki-Zay expressed hope that „Orbán would not mobilise masses for supporting Dobrev” in the primary.

"Those who cast their vote for Dobrev will actually vote for Orbán,” he said.


MTI Photo: Zoltán Balogh

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