picture of Péter Márki-Zay

An article featuring Péter Márki-Zay, the opposition’s prime minister-designate, in Sunday’s Guardian newspaper was summarized by HVG.

Among other things, the article points out that when the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely visited Brussels last year, he also went to the location of the famous drain pipe that Fidesz politician József Szájer used to escape a gay sex orgy that was busted by police during a time in which large gatherings were not allowed. By doing this, Márki-Zay wanted to draw attention to the hypocrisy in Fidesz over its stance on homosexuality, while demonstrating that he himself is a conservative who stands up for gay rights.

Analyst Róbert László from Political Capital was quoted as saying that nobody counted on the opposition nominating a candidate from the right at the top of the ticket. Márki-Zay’s “superpower” may be that he cannot be classified as left-wing, nor can he be portrayed as the puppet of former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, although pro-government media still makes this accusation about him.

Róbert László also mentions that Márki-Zay’s candidacy may have caused serious confusion in Fidesz’s propaganda machine, as he does not come across as a liberal intellectual, but rather a member of Fidesz.

The article points out that Péter Márki-Zay was never a member of Fidesz, although he did vote for them until 2010. In why he changed his views, Márki-Zay told the Observer:

I just became more and more upset with their populism, their betrayal of western values … corruption mostly … Orbán has changed, not me.

The paper stresses that Márki-Zay always tries to separate his own faith from Orbán’s when he speaks to reporters because he claims to have been Christian long before the Prime Minister. “I was a Christian way before Orbán. Orbán was still in the Communist youth movement when I attended church every Sunday in communist times,” said Péter Márki-Zay.

The article also discusses the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely’s experience of working in Canada and the US, and the fact that he became known in Hungarian political life after winning the mayoral race in one of the strongholds of Fidesz.

[HVG]

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By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.