Hungary’s Liberals (Liberálisok), one of numerous left-leaning opposition parties hoping to displace the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, will nominate a candidate for prime minister and contest each of the 106 individual constituency seats up for grabs in next year’s election. Party head Gábor Fodor told daily Népszabadság that the decision to field a complete slate of candidates was made after the party failed to come to terms with other opposition parties.
According to Fodor, the Liberals were ready to enter into a far-reaching compromise with other left-leaning opposition parties in order to defeat Orbán. But after the Socialists and Együtt-PM – the grouping led by former PM Gordon Bajnai – opted to stand apart the Liberals had no other choice but to set off for the elections on their own.
In terms of the party’s prospects, Fodor said he considered reaching the 5% threshold necessary for representation in Parliament not as irrational as it may have seemed a year ago. Currently the party does not appear in most public opinion polls, which show the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat party with a commanding lead and all but the Socialists and the far-right Jobbik struggling to reach 5% support among voters.
The party already has the 27 individual candidates necessary to forge a list, and candidates for all 18 constituencies in Budapest.
Fodor, a former leading figure in the now-defunct SZDSZ, said the list has many “new faces.”