Talks between the opposition Socialists and the leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) broke down on Tuesday, and DK now planned to run alone in the 2014 parliamentary elections, DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsany said. Analysts said the rejection veered the ex-premier in a difficult situation.
The former prime minister said his party was still open to cooperation opportunities in the eight months ahead until the elections, even at the last minute.
Gyurcsany said the Socialists had proposed cooperation in four instead of nine constituencies, all of which were impossible to win. In addition they offered every 25th place on their party list and would have banned Gyurcsany himself from running either individually or on a list. Another request was that DK should not present a platform of its own. The party could not accept these conditions, Gyurcsany said.
DK had earlier proposed to the Socialists that the two parties should have a joint list and wanted the second place on the joint list.
After the talks, the Socialists said the party had offered three individual constituencies to DK in Mohacs, Marcali and Keszthely. E14-PM had been ready to transfer to Budapest’s 12th district to Gyurcsany’s party, they added. One of the offers was for a constituency in the Socialist party’s top ten as well one between the 11th and 30th places. The Socialists added that they would have welcomed preliminary coordination talks about the candidates for both the individual constituencies and the party list.
The Socialists already have an electoral agreement with the E14-PM alliance, based on which they will have separate lists and joint candidates in individual constituencies.
Leading analyst of think-tank Szazadveg Tamas Lanczi said that the Socialists may trust that as the largest opposition party they could win over voters from the smaller parties. He added, however, that there is also a great risk of “Gyurcsany, from a hopeless position, using just anything for survival”. As a former PM, Gyurcsany possesses a lot of information and could wage a war for Socialist voters, Lanczi argued.
The situation favours the ruling parties, as the Left cannot present new faces; “it is but politicians of the past that keep surfacing”, who can be confronted with their pre-2010 failings, Lanczi argued.
Political Capital’s Attila Juhasz said that the Socialists were probably determined not to have further allies and give up further constituencies after 31 had already gone to E14-PM. On the other hand, an agreement was vital for DK, which will probably not garner more than 100,000-120,000 votes, not enough to secure seats in parliament.
Gyurcsany himself would probably have deterred a large number of uncertain voters from the Socialists, Juhasz said.
While the Socialist will try to win over some of DK’s supporters by telling them that votes on DK would be lost for the Left, Gyurcsany will use “all his might” and try and maximise media coverage in the campaign.
Socialist leader Attila Mesterhazy said on Tuesday that his party eventually decided not to run together with DK at the 2014 election primarily because Gyurcsany is a person who greatly divides society.
Mesterhazy told a forum held at the party headquarters, broadcast by commercial news channel ATV, that in order to win next year’s election, the Socialists need to win over uncertain voters. The party board decided that running with Gyurcsany would keep uncertain voters away, he added.
The Socialists have declined to sign an election deal with DK and Gabor Fodor’s liberal party because both parties presented excessive expectations compared to their social support.