February 22nd, 2015

Government loses parliamentary supermajority as Fidesz candidate beaten in Veszprém by-election

zoltan kesz

Hungary’s ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat coalition has lost its parliamentary “supermajority” Sunday following the defeat of its candidate in a by-election in the town of Veszprém.

According to the National Election Office, independent candidate Zoltán Kész defeated Fidesz’s Lajos Némedi by 42.66% percent to 33.64%.

An entrepreneur and advocate for free-market economics, Kész nonetheless ran with strong backing from the country’s major left-wing parties.

Trailing the two were Andrea Varga-Damm of the radical-nationalist party Jobbik with 14.14%, Ferenc Gerstmár of the green party LMP – which had declined to get behind Kész, citing his neoliberal economic beliefs – with 4.57%, and Ferenc Bősze, an independent who received 2.75% of the votes cast.

The defeat means the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s no longer has the two-thirds supermajority it has enjoyed since the 2010 elections, which have given it the power to pass legislation and enact constitutional changes without opposition votes.

“The voters expect me to be a real critic of the ones in power,” Kész said following news of his victory. “I promise I will deliver that. We have got the strength to change the power.”

The seat was left open when Tibor Navracsics, a leading figure in the governing party, was named European Union commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

The result ran contrary to the single poll made public before the vote, which showed Fidesz enjoying a slight lead.

The government has downplayed the election’s importance, arguing that it no longer has any need for a super-majority, having already made all the major changes it has planned.

Nevertheless, the result has significance given the ongoing slide in the government’s popularity in recent months.

The government faces a similar test in April, when another by-election will be held to fill the seat of Jenő Lasztovicza, a Fidesz MP representing a seat in Veszprém County who died last month.

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  • Please correct the spelling mistake (“supermajory”) at least in the title.

    • Thanks – done.

    • ViktorZorroban

      I kinda liked the word “supermajorcrimes” – it’s a pity that it’s gone 🙁

  • The result has a symbolic significance, not a practical one, and it should serve as a warning to Fidesz. That’s all.

    Let the “leftist” rejoice for their new MP who

    • Vidra

      ” it should serve as a warning to Fidesz. That’s all.”

      So what is Orbán going to different, in your view?

      • They shouldn’t afford themselves making blunders in policy implementations like in the case of the motorway passes or governmental chaos like with the Internet-tax, for example.

        • Vidra

          I think you mean “avoid”, and you still haven’t finished your sentence about the new MP. You been drowning your sorrows tonight?

          • I have. Refresh the page in your browser if you cannot see it.

          • Vidra

            Fidesz “shouldn’t afford themselves” (your mangled English) passing crap laws, such as forbidding shop-workers to earn extra money on Sunday.Fidesz should close down the Parliamentary law-factory until their MPs know how to write laws and debate them.

        • National Hiphop

          Fat chance. They’re so desperate for cash they would tax anything they can think of.

        • ViktorZorroban

          All state money and EU funds should go to Ráhel Orbán from now on, as she’s the future of the nation!

    • National Hiphop
      • Yes, it’s a very sour announcement from Fidesz indeed.

        Let me translate it into English so that those who don’t speak Hungarian could see it themselves, too:

        “Fidesz congratulates independent MP candidate Zoltán Kész for his election victory in Veszprém. We thank everybody who helped our local compaign. We especially thank everybody who took part on today’s election and supported Lajos Némedi vice-mayor.”

        • National Hiphop

          Concise and sour indeed. Also, why on Earth is there no mention of “foreign agents ans fake civils sponsored by György Soros”, “coordinated attack on the government from abroad”, “Bajnai’s Guard”, “hatred campaign led by Gyurcsány”, as well as “peaceful protesters had their eyes shot out in 2006”?? This announcement is a letdown in sooo many ways!!!!!

          • They don’t mention these things because the announcement is so sour, of course. You poor thing. 🙂

          • National Hiphop

            Up yours babe 😀 😀 😛
            (I can see you clearly need to process this “symbolic” victory by being especially hyper-active today…)

    • Hungarian

      Leto is a lair. The practical outcome is they can not keep amending the constitution with cardinal laws without input from the others parties.

      They have used that tactic to turn the constitution into a party document instead of one that is non-partisan.

      • The only thing which requires two thirds of all MPs is modifying the Constitution (and Jobbik may always help with that in an emergency 😉 ) Changing cardinal laws, electing important officials, etc. requires the two-thirds of the present MPs only.

        http://hvg.hu/velemeny.nyuzsog/20141125_Veszelyben_a_ketharmad

        • Hungarian

          And Fidesz needed every Fidesz vote for the cardinals laws it passed in the past. Jobbik has been quite vocal in its opposition to Fidesz, there is no guarantee that Jobbik will help.

          And it will certainly prevent them from passing cardinal laws that clearly benefit only Fidesz.

          • “there is no guarantee that Jobbik will help”

            Where it matters, that is possibly delivering some blows to your absolutely repelling “left liberal” ilk, they would help for sure. 🙂 That’s in their best interests.

          • Hungarian

            The only blow today was to Fidesz. One more crack, of many recently, in OV’s hold on power.

          • 🙂

          • Hungarian
          • 🙂

          • Pibroch

            “One more crack, of many recently, in OV’s hold on power.”

            Remember — Corner a rat, and it will attack.

      • “Leto is a lair.”

        Which particular meaning do you mean?

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lair

        Thanks.

        • Hungarian

          Liar in the sense Leto posts comments that are lies -there is a practical outcome, he stated there is none.

          This is his modus operandi. Post BS and hope some believe it. But, there plenty of other commenters here who catch him in his lies and correct them.

    • Hungarian

      Practical and very symbolic. They lost Vesprem a solidly pro-Fidesz bastion until now.

      “The loss of a seat that had been firmly in Fidesz hands for almost two decades. The man who held the seat until last November was a key Fidesz politician who served in all three Orbán governments. Tibor Navracsics was chief-of-staff to Viktor Orbán between 1998 and 2002. When Fidesz was in opposition, he headed the Fidesz parliamentary delegation, and in 2010 he became minister of justice and deputy prime minister. He was a Veszprém native and popular in his district. In 2014 he won hands down, with 47.25% of the votes against 27.64% for the candidate of the united opposition. Veszprém was one of the strongest bastions of Fideszdom.”

      Not just a small win over Fidesz, but a landslide against Fidesz. And this despite an attempt at political blackmail.

      “The government promised a new Olympic size swimming pool. Mihály Varga, minister of economy, told the voters in a robo-call that if they don’t vote for the Fidesz candidate they will not receive any favors from Budapest.”

      http://hungarianspectrum.org/2015/02/22/the-beginning-of-the-end-huge-electoral-victory-in-veszprem/

      • “a solidly pro-Fidesz bastion”

        With an SZDSZ mayor in Veszprém between 1990 and 2010. 🙂

  • incredible

    So, does the Hungarian electoral system favor the Fidesz party?

    • As, for example, internationally acclaimed democracy and election expert Kim Scheppele has already established, Hungary has only sham elections… and the “leftlibs” have been shouting that from the rooftops… so Mr. Kész has to be dictator Orbán’s stooge. There’s no other possibility.

      • imri

        That’s a blatant lie. Scheppele did not say the elections in Hungary were fake, what all the credible independent observers said was that they were “free but not fair”, because Fidesz broke the spending limits using Civil Összefogás Fórum which got money from unknown source, changed the rules shortly before elections to benefit themselves, and controlled the overhauling majority of the media and billboard space.

        • You’re a blatant liar.

          She wrote: “The sum total of all of these changes makes it virtually inevitable that Fidesz will win.”

          http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/28/hungary-an-election-in-question-part-2/?_r=0

          In other words she wrote the elections are fake.

          • imri

            The equivalence you draw is a bold-faced lie. It was indeed virtually inevitable that Fidesz would win at the time, due to the changes they made, but the votes were counted. In “fake” elections, there would be no real counting of votes. Nobody credible has said that about Hungary.

            Since last year, as you may have noticed, Fidesz has lost some control of the media and the “message”, and the blatant fakery that has been exposed, as well as their terrible recent policies, have made them unelectable even despite all the unfair advantages they have given themselves. I say good riddance!

          • You’re a blatant liar.

            Fidesz would have won (at the time) regardless of the changes they made.

          • imri

            I have no idea what would have been the outcome if Fidesz had held free and fair elections in 2014 without gerrymandering, taking control of major media and turning state media into their propaganda arm, running a literally libellous election campaign, and the mounting of a huge smear campaign by CÖF with undisclosed funding. Therefore, I am not a blatant liar. But, as has been shown many times on this site, you certainly are.

          • Hungarian

            That they win overall, as they did. And created a 66% majority with 44% of the vote. That is what she was talking about, not about the ability to win individual seats.

          • Your absolutely disgusting and rotten “left liberal” ilk “created” a 72% majority in 1994 with 49% of the votes.

          • Hungarian

            That was wrong also.

  • LMP chairman Schiffer is extremely upset…

    “beindult Készék troll-kommandója”
    “Kész úr és a trollok ellen a jogi eljárásokat haladéktalanul megindítjuk.”

    That is
    “Kész’ troll-commando has really gotten underway”
    “We’re going to take legal action against Mr. Kész and the trolls immediately.”

    https://www.facebook.com/schifferandras/posts/10152804798163668

  • MagyarViking

    Even made it to Sweden’s biggest daily that claim Fidesz lost its 2/3rd majority
    http://www.dn.se/nyheter/varlden/ungerska-regeringen-tappar-mojlighet-att-andra-grundlag/

    Funny when a small by-election has that much influence
    Soon we will hear how undemocratic it is that only a few thousand voters in Vesprem could seal the fate of so many Fidesz thieves, not to be able to change the Constitution, etc

    On the other hand, “Jobbik” and some “independent” MPs will probably give help when needed, but hopefully they will be punished for it by the voters latest 2018

    So if we pull an ‘ukrainian’ this election shows the divide in Hungary between pro-EU Western Hungary and pro-Kremlin Eastern Hungary…
    Given the resent by-elections in the east where “Jobbik” won

    • MagyarViking

      …and to day it made it all through Sweden as bigger telegram from the main Swedish news bureau
      http://www.svd.se/nyheter/utrikes/ovantat-bakslag-for-orban-i-ungern_4356349.svd

      So, one of those few by-elections Europe will be talking about, giving the impression abroad that Whorban is history
      Now it will be up the the Hungarians to make that sure, while pro-Fidesz people will claim “a Maidan coup/Nuland coup” etc, while they will be huffing and puffing away…
      And if that fails we still have all the new options before Article 7…

    • Hungarian

      It even made the New York Times.

      • wolfi

        And of course the German SPIEGEL which asks whether Veszprém will get its new swim stadium now that was promised by Orbán – oh sh*t, the word stadium has been banned anyway …
        If it weren’t so atrocious it would be funny!

  • A few more remarks:

    1/ Though the views of Zoltán Kész are (extreme) libertarian, and that’s very far from being left-wing, MSZP still supported this independent candidate. MSZP activists campaigned for him, so did MSZP chairman Tóbiás etc. So MSZP got glued together with neoliberalism yet again. However this election victory may turn out to be the thin edge of the wedge for MSZP. Ex-chairman Mesterházy, who used to advocate a “leftist turn in MSZP”, is certainly there in the shadows, ready to glut his revenge…

    2/ DK has been the most enthusiastic about this candidate and this election victory is going to strengthen their relative position in the leftlib bloc… and, knowing Gyurcsány, that is going to result in a lot of entertaining brawls in no time. 🙂

    3/ It’s not Kész who convinced the voters in Veszprém. It’s Fidesz who lost them.

    • MagyarViking

      “It’s not Kész who convinced the voters in Veszprém. It’s Fidesz who lost them”
      Yes, as it never was Fidesz who won any elections, just MSZP/SZDSZ that lost them…

    • imri

      6/ If the left could win with a candidate like Kesz, they can win with almost anyone who is not perceived as tainted by corruption. So look out for lots more slime and libel directed at the left from the Fidesz director of communications and others before the next election.

    • Hungarian

      Leto tries to spin this as bad for the left. 2, 3, and 5 all about that. Desperate.

      • If somebody is “desperate” then it’s your extremely disgusting “left liberal” ilk… which now demands early elections because of a single by-election, where an independent candidate they supported, defeated Fidesz. 😀
        LOL

        http://www.origo.hu/itthon/20150222-az-ellenzek-mar-az-elorehozott-valasztast-akar-2016-ban.html

        • Hungarian

          They are not asking for early elections just because of a single by-election. But, rather because of the obvious incompetence and corruption in Fidesz.

          There are more and more reports by both left and right media outlets of dissatisfaction within Fidesz with OV’s ruling style and the direction he is leading the country in. I will not be surprised if Fidesz fractures and there is a vote of no confidence for OV.

  • Mr. Orbán’s comment:

    “Dear (Fidesz) supporters, party activists! Thank you for your work. We’ll continue to stand up for you, people in Veszprém. We respect the decision of the voters b and the lesson is: we cannot rest on our oars.”

    https://www.facebook.com/orbanviktor/posts/10153070176491093

    • ViktorZorroban

      The liberals and democrats are dancing, and lining up behind velvet ropes to take their turns pissing on Orban’s grave, and his corpse is not even cold yet! C’mon, how respectless can you be?!!

  • Syndicate

    I am really surprised that Zoltan won. However he was by no means a typical left wing candidate as he was a member of Fidesz in 2004. I doubt this will change anything in parliament as behind the self assured front Fidesz put up during the election allot of Fidesz strategist were very surprised they pulled off a 2/3 majority and were very prepared to govern with a simple majority. All the constitutional changes they wanted were past long ago. Besides I doubt all opposition members are totally incorruptible. It would make sense for Zoltan not to caucus with the opposition and build up his credentials as an independent voice in parliament. Running as an independent and winning also allows the left to maximize their list vote.

    The left still has a long way to go before they are able to win an election. In order for the left to be competitive in 2018 I think the left need to adopt these following steps.

    1. You need to tailor your message to your constituency. This may require a more low tax classical liberal platform in western Hungary and a more social democratic one in the eastern part of the country.

    2. Prove to the people that you carry just as much about law and order as Jobbik without the crazy rhetoric. This could be done with the recruitment of some well liked police officers in order to neutralize some of Jobbik’s appeal on the issue.

    3. Adopt Christian vales. Marx has been totally discredited since the fall of the soviet union Christian values have not. In Latin America the left has proven the left wing polices and Christian values can be successfully blended. While Hungary is a more of secular society it would be beneficial for the left to show up in a church every once in a while as well as adding some Christian ministers to the list.

    Fidesz can be defeated but if the left fail to reform themselves in the next couple of years and fail to reform they are going to be in for a rude awakening come 2018. The next elections are by no means a forgone conclusion.

    • A lot of people, including myself, were surprised (on the positive side, of course 🙂 ) that Fidesz won a supermajority in 2014. It hasn’t been used since then and chances are it won’t be needed either till 2018 .

      • Syndicate

        There is six other parties in parliament including an independent. If they cant get a single opposition member party to sign on it is probably a stupid idea and should not be added into the constitution anyways.

        • See my posts beginning as “The only thing which requires..” and “Where it matters..” below.

          Anyway, it seems the Constitution doesn’t need to be changed.

    • MagyarViking

      “All the constitutional changes they wanted were past long ago. Besides I doubt all opposition members are totally incorruptible”
      —-
      Not true, that is just what they are saying today, then whatelse should they say?

      The truth is more that they need a new supermajority to assign new officials for 9-12 years starting just from before the next election and then hope that there will not be the Opposition that will get the new supermajority from the next election

      Also, Whorban must be made President with extra powers, not just a rubberstamp like today. This will be extra interesteting if it seems like Fidesz will actually lose in 2018, then it is his ticket tp stay out of prosecution for at least 2023, especially if also Polt stays on as Prosecutor till 2025-2030. After that it will be very hard to get any convictions

      Of course, these Fidesz criminals may be saved by non-Fidesz MPs, but those MPs will be punished in the next election and it will be made much more inte open, which will turn even more previous pro-Fidesz against Fidesz and wake up slumbering voters
      So in the end it IS important that Fidesz lost its supermajority, even if it just last for a day or so in reality

  • Hungarian

    who would have thought that the libnazi horde would think of this as a major win!?
    i congratulate your lowered expectations libnazi horde:)

    • Vidra

      Why have you stolen Leto’s clothes? “Libnazi horde” indeed.What will your ilk steal next?

    • Hungarian

      Sorry about my stupid cousin. He is the ass of the family. Clearly the left sees this as a major win and so do most political analysts.

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