Updated: Former Socialist Leader in Hungary Quits to Set Up New Party

  • 6 Apr 2023 9:33 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Updated: Former Socialist Leader in Hungary Quits to Set Up New Party
Attila Mesterházy, a one-time leader of the opposition Socialist Party, has announced that he is quitting the party and founding a new social democratic formation.

The Socialist leadership has been pursuing a bad strategy for years, he said, explaining his decision on Facebook on Tuesday, adding that the party was by now a “shadow of its former self”.

The Socialists, the successor of Hungary’s communist party, has consistently polled below the 5% threshold for seats in parliament in recent surveys. Mesterházy is joining with László Szakács, a former official of the leftist Democratic Coalition, to set up a new social democratic party called Socialists and Democrats.

He said DK alone was not attractive to many social democratic voters. The Socialists said in response that the party acknowledged Mesterházy’s decision.

The Socialists would continue pursuing politics for a free, democratic and fair Hungary, it said in a statement, and work towards combatting the cost of living crisis, to achieve a real wage increase and counterbalance the consequences of the government’s ill-fated economic policies. 

Programme for 'National Modernisation' to Create Fair Hungary by Former Socialist

Former leader of the opposition Socialists Attila Mesterházy said his new party plans to implement a programme of “national modernisation” in order to create a “fair Hungary”.

Mesterházy told public television that he had been planning his departure from the Socialists for several months because he had disagreed with the path that the party was following for some time.

In response to a question, he said that his old party and new party stand close to each other in terms of the values they pursue but their strategies differed.

“We want to pursue social-democratic policies with a strong emphasis on enforcing national interests…” he added.

Many people, he said, do not want to vote for either Democratic Coalition leader Ferenc Gyurcsány or the Socialists, and around 30% of voters belonged to a group that his new Socialists and Democrats could appeal to.

MTI Photo: Attila Kovács

  • How does this content make you feel?

XpatLoop Media Partner

Hungary Matters

Launched in January 2014, this newsletter published on week days covers 'everything you need to know about what’s going on in Hungary and beyond', according to its publisher the state media agency MTI.

Explore More Reports