A dozen well-known personalities of Hungary’s small liberal opposition Free Democrats announced their decision to leave the party in a letter sent to MTI on Monday.
The signatories, including founding members Gyorgy Konrad, Miklos Haraszti, Gabor Ivanyi and Laszlo Rajk, said that they wanted “to stay faithful to their ideals” and would not cooperate with “the party’s new leadership, its new directions and divisive style”.
On Sunday, the Free Democrats elected Attila Retkes party leader to replace Gabor Fodor, who resigned after the party’s dismal results in the European parliamentary elections in June. Retkes, chosen as one of three candidates, expressed criticism over the party’s political position as a supporter of Gordon Bajnai’s crisis management government and suggested that the Free Democrats should back out of their commitment to support the minority ruling Socialists. Retkes was also critical of the party’s current leadership, especially of parliamentary group leader Janos Koka, whom he called on to resign.