The fallout from the leaked speech by Parliamentary Speaker László Kövér (pictured) to senior intelligence officials, as reported by investigative outlet Direkt36 over the weekend, continued into the session in Parliament on Monday.
Bence Tordai from Párbeszéd began by saying that László Kövér’s relationship with democracy is reminiscent of autocratic techniques used in the 1950s. The national security risk to Fidesz is not “spies from Russia or China settling here, but the opposition, those who want to obstruct the government by democratic means.”
“You should be ashamed of yourself, and start disappearing from Hungarian public life,” Tordai said. In response, Csaba Dömötör, State Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, said that László Kövér had personally fought against the dictatorship, as opposed to Bence Tordai (who was just a child at the time), and that the words of the Speaker had been misconstrued.
In Csaba Dömötör’s view, László Kövér did not talk about specific political actors, but about two mutually-exclusive worldviews. He then quoted Péter Márki-Zay, who “called right-wing voters mushrooms who are kept in the dark and fed manure.” Dömötör considered this statement by the opposition’s prime minister-designate an insult to voters.
But Zoltán Varga from the Democratic Coalition stated that Parliamentary Speaker had insulted millions of opposition voters with his words to intelligence officials in February 2020, and he does not have to face any consequences for it. The intelligence services have a constitutional duty to operate in a non-partisan manner, and Kövér should have resigned for what he said.
But at least one thing can be certain for everyone since Saturday, claims Varga: “the System of National Co-operation (NER) is monitoring the opposition, the press, using clandestine methods.”
Bertalan Tóth from the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) also felt that Fidesz had sunk to an unprecedented moral depth with the leaked speech, which a state leader was not permitted say to intelligence officials.
On behalf of Jobbik, Koloman Brenner admonished Fidesz by saying that the party had exercised Hungarian governmental power for the past 12 years, but “it has now reached into the heart of state power, the intelligence services as well,” It is terrible, he believes, that this is what became of Fidesz and Viktor Orbán since the change of regime in 1989.
Instead of freedom, Fidesz has now built a semi-feudal system in small settlements, while poverty is even measured at the EU level, he claims. Brenner called on forming a government representing all Hungarians next year, and he is confident that the state security services will be loyal to it.
Other Fidesz MPs defended the Parliamentary Speaker, claiming that he was just saying the truth or that his words had been twisted around, but László Kövér himself apparently did not comment on his own behalf as part of the debate.