September 13th, 2012

MSZP must nominate PM, name allies by late 2013, says Socialist board chairman

The opposition Socialist Party (MSZP) will have to name its PM candidate and decide with whom to conclude electoral alliance in autumn next year, board chairman Laszlo Botka told Magyar Hirlap daily in an interview on Thursday.

Asked if MSZP Chairman Attila Mesterhazy, ex-premier Gordon Bajnai or economist Peter Ronai will be their candidate, Botka said that the decision should only be made just before the campaign kicks off for the 2014 elections.

“Until then, we should focus on presenting a Socialist alternative. This is why we are drafting an alternative budget, an economic policy programme and regional programmes for eastern Hungary, Budapest and other regions,” he said.

Botka, who is mayor of the south Hungarian city of Szeged and widely seen as a strongman of his party, said the Socialists would like to become a reliable ally of all democratic political movements, civil organisations and parties whose values are compatible with the Socialist ones and aim to put an end to the Fidesz rule in 2014.

Botka said he was unwilling to comment the week-long hunger strike of ex-premier Ferenc Gyurcsany but added that the cause he is protesting against, namely the introduction of voter registration, was outrageous and strongly opposed by the Socialists, too.

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