Delegates of a congress started by the small opposition LMP party on Saturday threw out all proposals for a new party strategy, so an earlier agreement to avoid electoral cooperation with other parties remains in place, the party’s two spokesmen told the press.
Electoral cooperation with other opposition forces was high on the agenda of the two-day congress started behind closed doors in Budapest on Saturday. Three strategy proposals were discussed, one of them, by Erzsebet Schmuck, motioned to postpone the issue until the end of the year.
Approved for the agenda last minute, a proposal by a party chapter, Dialogue for Hungary, was discussed calling for cooperation with the electoral movement Together 2014. The proposal comes after delegates last November voted to refrain from any cooperation with the movement, which is headed by former prime minister Gordon Bajnai. The supporters of the decision said it was wrong for LMP to cooperate with any current or previous head of government. Benedek Javor, then parliamentary group leader, resigned after the November vote and formed Dialogue with ten other party members.
Javor and Andras Schiffer, LMP’s new parliamentary group leader, both dismissed speculation about a party split over the cooperation question at the start of the congress.
“It is not in the interest of any party member to see LMP disappear from parliament,” Schiffer told journalists.
“I would like to stay [in the party],” Javor said.
The party’s budget and three political strategy options involving electoral cooperation were the main items on the congress agenda.
Javor said in a break that a proposal by Istvan Elek, a founding member of the party, “had some points worthy of support”.
Elek suggested that LMP should field its own candidates in every constituency but allow candidates to reach agreements individually on cooperation in their own district. This strategy would work only if parties agreed on a minimum level of constitutional rules, according to the proposal.