October 22nd, 2011

Gyurcsány announces departure from Socialists, formation of new “Western, civic center-left” party

Ferenc Gyurcsany, a former Prime Minister, has announced he is leaving the Socialist Party and will set up a new parliamentary group after succeeding in persuading the necessary number of lawmakers to join him.

The new Democratic Coalition party is to be a “Western-style, civic centre-left” formation with ten lawmakers, Gyurcsany announced on Saturday, the first anniversary of the establishment of its forerunner, the Democratic Coalition Platform.

Gyurcsany, who also used to lead the Socialists, said the new party would stand for “freedom and solidarity”.

He said the reason why he had decided to leave the Socialists was because the party had failed in its efforts to transform itself. 

Nezopont Institute analyst Orsolya Szomszed told MTI the advantage for the Socialists was that they had now been freed from the taint of Gyurcsany’s infamous speech just after the 2006 election admitting to lying about the state of the economy, as well as the burden of internal wrangling. But Gyurcsany’s move could equally mark the first stage of the left’s downfall, she said.

The risk for the Socialists is that the party’s current leader will no longer have the conflict with Gyurcsany to hide behind and his own performance will come under the spotlight, she said, adding that sooner or later he would have to prove himself.

“Right now we cannot know for certain whether the players will be stronger or weaker apart,” she said. Any future left-wing alliance could be hampered by enduring personal conflicts between the two formations, Szomszed added. Socialist lawmakers on Saturday strongly condemned Gyurcsany, who had only last week signed a pledge to stay on in the party.

In his hour-long speech, Gyurcsany vowed to “wake society from its nightmare,” in which community and individual well-being is “dependent on the will of the government”. Instead, he said he wanted to realise the dream in which each person was clear about his own responsibility to himself and his country.  

Csaba Molnar, the energy and telecoms minister under Gyurcsany, will head the new group, which is to be formed next week.

The new political force is to take over the legal apparatus of an already existing one called the Democratic Party, whose name will be changed to Democratic Coalition. He said the reason for this procedure is that establishing an entirely new party would require the approval of the public prosecutor.

Gyurcsany is under investigation by the prosecutor on suspicion of over-stepping his authority during his premiership.

He said the new party group had not asked for the parliamentary speaker’s approval, adding that he trusted that their opposition would not use “underhand and dishonest” means to undermine the decision.

Whereas the house rules state that lawmakers who leave a party group must be independent for a period of six months before they can join a new formation, a precedent from 1996 shows that an exception can be made.

Attila Juhasz, an analyst with Political Capital, said that the house rules would not allow the possibility for the Democratic Coalition to form a parliamentary group, and the lawmakers departing from the Socialists would have to wait the full six months as independents. 

Juhasz told MTI that Gyurcsany believed he would manage to appeal to new voters from the centre as well as attracting former Socialist supporters. Meanwhile, the Socialists hope that, freed from Gyurcsany, they will be able to win back people who deserted the party at the last election in 2010.  

He added, however, that the chance of Gyurcsany putting such a scenario into practice was slim. The findings of not a single pollster suggest that Gyurcsany would be able to attract new support. Moreover, he remains one of the least popular politicians, with an even lower rating than the Socialist leader Attila Mesterhazy, Juhasz said. He added that neither was it likely former supporters of the near-defunct liberal party, the Free Democrats, would join him either, since this tendency would already be apparent from his time on the Socialist bench. 

Most likely the Socialists and Democratic Coalition will split the Socialist camp of supporters which currently account for between 10 and 20 percent of the electorate, he said, adding that he doubted the split would give either party an lift in the polls. 

The drawn-out process itself of setting up the new party was sure to prolong antagonism with his old party, said Juhasz. 

Gyurcsany said friends and enemies remained in his former party. But he also pledged to avoid making statements about the Socialists which could play into the hands of the Fidesz leader and prime minister, Viktor Orban. 

Gyurcsany said the left wing in Hungary had been most successful when it had simultaneously represented classical left-wing values and progressiveness, at once civic and Socialist. He insisted that it was impossible to give a traditional left-wing response to a “right-wing Christian course”, and the job should be to organise a “diverse civic centre” instead.

He branded the new constitution as “illegitimate”, and insisted that members and heads of the independent branches of state such as the constitutional court and the public prosecutor “exclusively serve Viktor Orban”.

The Socialist group will be left with 49 seats once Gyurcsany’s ten quit, as against 261 seats for Fidesz, 46 for Jobbik and 15 for LMP.

Visit www.hungarymatters.hu to receive Hungarian news agency MTI’s twice-daily newsletter.
Topics
Share
Please note that due to a large volume of trolling and false abuse flags, we are currently only accepting comments from logged-in users.
  • Viking

    What do we have hear in the air?
    It is ‘leto’ who is cheering that a new opposition party, which by all ‘leto’s’ so far official definitions is “non-postcommie”, has finally arrived
    Much of ‘leto’s’ arguments was earlier that the *organisation* MSZP was post-commie (continuation from the pre-1990 MSZMP)
    It will be a bit hard to claim that this party is a legal continuation of MSZP/MSZMP, but ‘leto’ will probably claim that, clever as ‘leto’ is

  • Leto

    Two postcommie parties, bitching with each other, are better than one. Three would be even better. :)

    • Viking

      What happened, before you defined a “postcommie” party as being a party being the successor to the pre-1990 Communist Party, but now you seem to define it as having a claimed “Socialist” or “Liberal” policies?
      Which just means you have de-valuated the expression “postcommie” just to be “Anti-Fidesz”
      But if “postcommie” would be used a s a label for parties which contains leaders and members of the Communist Party before 1990, then you really know that Fidesz is the biggest “postcommie” party in Hungary
      Like The Supreme Leader you are just trying to hide this fact behind so much anti-rethoric, even if The Supreme Leader has Imre Pozsgay as his advisor a well-known pre-1990 Communist Politician

  • I love Hungary

    This is bad news for the Right.

    • Leto

      It’s great news for us, don’t you worry. :)

      • Leto

        Like the political analyst said: “Most likely the Socialists and Democratic Coalition will split the Socialist camp of supporters which currently account for between 10 and 20 percent of the electorate, he said, adding that he doubted the split would give either party an lift in the polls.”

      • Leto

        “Most likely the Socialists and Democratic Coalition will split the Socialist camp of supporters which currently account for between 10 and 20 percent of the electorate, he said, adding that he doubted the split would give either party an lift in the polls.”

        I agree. :)

  • I love Hungary

    The next split is within FIDESZ. You heard it here first.

  • justasking

    For those of you living in Hungary, who are looking for a career move….start a centre-right political party, that has fresh faces.

    Call yourselves something catchy like, I don’t know…’A Magyar Kozpont…AMK (no, I’m not a political strategist… apparently, I’m an Entomologist).

    Anyhow, you can work it, saying things like being the centre or core party for all Hungarians…blah, blah, blah. This party alone has no baggage, we don’t mislead people, we don’t sign documents and dismiss them in the same breath etc.

    Have popular figures in your party…who people can identify with. Preferably in mid 40’s and up. Anything less, they would look too young and anything too much older, they look like they would keep up with the same old same old.

    • Leto

      Nope, it would be a much better advice to start a centre-left party that has fresh faces, etc.

      • mzperx

        Right on.

        • Viking

          But you would still call it “postcommie” and in the meaning it should be illegal, so why not say that out-right from the beginning?
          .
          Of course this would be as stupid as saying as Hungary need to have a centre-right party without Fidesz
          Who should be there?
          Of course a majority of people voting and working for Fidesz, some (many) of them voting and working for MDF before, like ‘leto’, who abandon MDF, when he felt Fidesz could deliver better

  • Leto

    I agree that this is about the most likely (and best!) thing to happen:

    “Most likely the Socialists and Democratic Coalition will split the Socialist camp of supporters which currently account for between 10 and 20 percent of the electorate, he said, adding that he doubted the split would give either party an lift in the polls.”

    • I love Hungary

      I am waiting to see the fall-out from the FIDESZ rupture. Some of those folk, no doubt, feel Orban is betraying the core values of the good old days. And those people are absolutely right.

      It would be nice if the broke away early enough to get rid of this crap of a constitution.

      • Leto

        Keep daydreaming… :D

        FYI, the new Consitution will take effect in only 9 weeks. As usual, it’ll take a two-third majority to change it..

  • Leto

    @Erik

    I’m sorry about the multiple postings. It didn’t go through and I thought it’s a technical issue so I tried several times..

  • Leto

    “civic center-left” is “polgári balközép” in Hungarian.
    In case someone wouldn’t know, “polgári jobbközép” has been the self-definition of Fidesz since 1998 and “polgári” (civic) is the key calling word in all their political messages.
    Gyurcsány, the Liar of Őszöd was meant to be an “anti-Orbán” by the postcommies (where he spectacularly failed) and apparently he keeps trying this role. These days this is a pathetic and laughable attempt, of course.

  • Viking

    Leto says:
    October 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Gyurcsány, the Liar of Őszöd was meant to be an “anti-Orbán” by the postcommies (where he spectacularly failed)

    Conveniently you are re-writing history here
    1) Already 1988 The Supreme Leader pointed out that Gyurcsány was the brightest leader of the opposite pack
    .
    2) The Supreme Leader lost against Gyurcsány in their first contest on the post as PM, in April 2006
    2010 The Supreme Leader settled the score to 1-1, so where is the “spectacularly” failure?
    That The Supreme Leader was 2nd on the ball 2006?

  • Leto

    Olga and justasking:

    Here goes another revealing interview from a popular (ex-)TV-showman, István Vágó, titled “I’m a gyurcsányist”:

    http://index.hu/kultur/media/2011/10/23/vago_gyurcsanyista_vagyok/

    It’s really instructive to learn about the mentality of these “Pest intellectuals” if you don’t know them already:

    “Journalist: Do you think this talk show (“Demokraták”), with these persons, is fit for filling the (political) trenches? There are no right-wing opinion makers here at all.
    Vágó: Like I said this is a plague of Hungarian TVs. Somebody who is a democrat, they may come here. But just tell me a single democrat from over the other side!”

    Micsoda XX/XXI. századi magyar történelem…
    apró(klein) antal 1956 november 4-én tételesen szovjet tankon érkezett Szolnokról a főváros “felszabadítására”…
    Majd személyesen felügyelte Nagy Imre perét; 1958. június 17-én ő jelentette be a Parlamentben Nagy Imre és három társa kivégzését, amelyet a „nép jogos elégtételének… az ellenforradalom méltó megbosszulásának” nevezett.

    The idiol is this guy sits in a Buda luxury villa, confiscated from a Jewish family in the ’50s, his father-in-law was the head of the Communist Bulgarian secret service, linked to the assissination attempt of John Paul II, his mother-in-law is the daughter of the Hungarian Communist leader (Antal Apró (Klein) ), who rode on Soviet tanks in 1956 to Budapest in order to supervise the Nagy Imre trial and the retaliations, his mother-in-law is a godmother of the postcommie maffia (I mean literally “maffia”!) and no need to introduce the villain this guy calls as “the only true democratic politician in Hungary”…
    Lánya, piroska és onokája klára meg utóbbi veje meg a rekvirált szemlőhegyi villából irányítják a vágó-félék “demokratáit”…

    • Leto

      Uh, sorry, I forgot to remove some Hungarian excerpts from my original post somewhere else..

      • Leto

        So the gist of this post was this:

        The TV showman, who calls himself “a gyurcsányist” and he said a few other hideously blatant things besides this in this interview and elsewhere, stated that nobody “from the other side” is a democrat, he considers democrats only his postcommie ilk.

        • Viking

          Leto says:
          October 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm

          stated that nobody “from the other side” is a democrat, he considers democrats only his postcommie ilk

          And your repeated usage of the label “postcommie” shows that you have the same opinion, or can *you* name a “Democrat” which is not associated to Fidesz?
          Can there be any “Democrats” in the parties you have already labelled “postcommie”:
          * MSZP
          * SZDSZ
          * MDF
          * LMP
          So where do you find your “Democrats”, in FKGP, “Jobbik” or any other party that is not Fidesz?
          .
          For myself I have no problem finding people, or even politicians, that I would consider “Democrats” in Fidesz, as in other Hungarian political parties, but both ‘leto’ and Vágó seem to have problems

        • Leto

          Certainly this is beyond the comprehension of the orbanophobic idiots here, but one doesn’t become a democrat because they keep saying so about themselves and somebody else won’t be undemocratic because these agressive, self-proclaimed “democrats” keep shouting that from the top of their lungs.
          As for being a democrat, that’s someone, of course, who accepts and respects the fundamental principles of modern democracy, that is free (and fair) elections, free speech, etc. So those whom I call postcommie can be democratic, too, if they mean it. Having known low-lifes like Gyurcsány and his lot, I suspect though that the police terror of 2006 is actually their true political nature and their words are just camouflage, lies as always.

          • Viking

            Leto says:
            October 24, 2011 at 12:58 am

            So those whom I call postcommie can be democratic, too, if they mean it

            “can be democratic, too, if they mean it”;
            That is *not* the same as calling/accepting anyone as a “Democrat”, like how you would call Viktor Orban
            Simple question is:
            * Gyurcsány
            * Meszterhazy
            * Zili Katalin
            “Democrats”?
            .
            In my book all 4 politicians mentioned here are “Democrats”
            That I normally call Viktor Orban “The Supreme Leader”, does not mean I do not see him as not being a “Democrat”, yet
            ‘leto’ seem to imply that the Police response in the Autumn of 2006 as signs that Gyurcsány would be “Anti-Democrat”, which Gyurcsány then would share with the current Greek Government, and the one preceding it, basically meaning all Greek leading politicians
            Order in any Democracy will be defended with violence, and Viktor Orban will do the same thing, given the situation

    • Viking

      Leto says:
      October 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      So Gyurcsány is *so* bad because his 3rd wife’s Grand-Father was bad?
      .
      If we would judge people from their parents and not just the Grand-Father-In-Law to a persons 3rd wife, how do we then rank The Supreme Leader?
      His biological Father served the Hungarian Communist Regime loyal and hard, by being the Party Secretary in the mine he worked (and after 1990 could by dirt-cheap)

  • Leto

    Erik!

    Your site has been hacked! Clicking on “see all recent comments” redirects to some crappy spam site…

    • justasking

      @Leto,

      Hey, that happened to me too. I just thought I hit the wrong button.

      • Viking

        Hitting the “Submit Comment” button accepts the new comment, but then when the same page should be reloaded, some spam-site comes up
        If that helps out

        • Viking

          It seems to be the first part of the URL that is changed, like I got:
          http://rx-pharm-shop.com/#comment-60459
          after hitting the submit-button on the reply above
          (pls feel free to delete this one in the moderation process)

  • http://www.allhungary.hu Erik D’Amato

    Checking this out….

    • Leto

      Now clicking on anything in the comment tracker leads to another spam site… :(

      • http://www.allhungary.hu Erik D’Amato

        checking on this too! thanks.

  • http://www.allhungary.hu Erik D’Amato

    Should be fixed….

  • justasking

    So, did you guys place your orders? :D :D

    • Leto

      I rather placed my order for new leftist parties and there they go: The Gyurcsány party on last Saturday and a new one (4K!) this Wednesday. :)

      • Viking

        Leto says:
        October 25, 2011 at 12:53 am

        I rather placed my order for new leftist parties and there they go

        Yes, for a person that:
        * One Leader
        * One Party
        gets the 2/3rd majority is the ultimate sign of success, then I suppose that different people organise different movements/parties is a not understandable concept
        People are different and are not always so interested in being ruled by just One Leader and they may want to see different ideas clashed in open debate, not just in closed Fidesz Top Management meetings
        .
        Personally I have not a clue about what these new parties are about, and I am likely not to know that in the future either, then I am not interested in them, but I am interested in the phenomenon:
        * The current democratic opposition parties, MSZP and LMP, has totally failed to collect the obvious opposition to Fidesz 2/3rd majority rule (which have been performed in such an arrogant way, (the word “revenge” comes to mind)), so people are building grass-roots organisations
        The process is a bit how “Jobbik” was formed in 2003, the outcome can be totally different though

  • Elle

    @Leto and anyone else in the know:

    The analyses I’ve read of this two-left-parties phenomenon are pretty vapid. I have no insight at all into what they think they can achieve with them. But I sensed something downright strange in Budapest when we were there from mid-June until the heat drove us out towards the end of July. It began when, on the same day, I saw three different sets of people wearing T-shirts with CCCP (sic!) emblazoned on them. I got to have quite a long chat with one couple (mother and adult son) in this garb. They hinted darkly that something is coming up that will kick the stuffing out of all the crooks presently in parliament. Everybody I referred this to in Hungary just shrugged it off as babble, except one woman who works with some charitable organization. She said that communism-referencing talk is very strong in a biggish group of homeless youths she works with. I kept on spotting CCCP T-shirt wearing people until my husband worried that I’m heat-affected. They sure were frequent in Óbuda and Ujpest. (I checked these places out on purpose.) My paranoia had me imagining that some evil genius is brewing up a disruptive force. Please tell me, as briefly as you wish, whether you have come upon any rumblings along these lines. And surely this is not connectable with the two leftist parties?

    • Leto

      @Elle
      There are these Che Guevara/CCCP T-shirts jackasses in a lot of places, including Hungary.
      The appeareance of these new leftist parties is a sign of the very deep political crisis the Left is having in Hungary. When the postcommies similarly collapsed in Poland in 2005, like MSZP did last year, there was a similar fragmentation and blossoming of new leftist parties.
      BTW, 4K! (the group behind Sunday’s rally) does seem to be a genuine, non-postcommie group now. Their spokesman in an Index-interview even referred to postcommies (MSZP, SZDSZ) as such. So the appearance of this new party might be a good sign in the end.
      I’ll wait and see.

      • Elle

        Ah,thanks Leto. I shall now look into 4K, starting with Index.

      • Viking

        We are still waiting (close to a year?) how SZDSZ (and nowadays also MDF) could be “postcommie” parties…

    • spectator

      - Nothing ever gonna happen, dear, you’ll see!
      As Leto expressed correctly, people like to grumble about anything, and of all the contrary.

      It would take some character to act upon ideology – whatever that could be – and as we have seen in the poll, people rather will trade even freedom for “benefits”.

      So, here we are, folks!

More content from Hungary's leading foreign-language media network
About Politics.hu | Become an All Hungary Member | Newsletters | Contact Us | Advertise With Us
All content © 2004-2013 The All Hungary Media Group. Articles, comments and other information on the All Hungary Media Group's network of sites are provided "as is" without guarantees, warranties, or representations of any kind, and the opinions and views expressed in such articles and columns are not necessarily those of the All Hungary Media Group.