The ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition has announced which candidates it will be running for parliamentary seats in Hungary’s 106 individual electoral districts. Their opponents in the United for Hungary six-party coalition have already been chosen by voters in primary elections held last fall.
I respectfully accept Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s request and commit myself to all of you!
-was how Mezőtúr Mayor Zsolt Herczeg announced that he would be Fidesz’s candidate in parliamentary elections for Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County’s 4th electoral district, currently held by Fidesz MP István Boldog. The scandal-plagued Boldog decided last month to “put his family first” and not run for re-election this year.
Following Herczeg’s comment, Fidesz-KDNP released a statement announcing that the party had decided on its candidates for every individual electoral district, the list of which can be viewed here. “Fidesz-KDNP is prepared for the parliamentary elections, because Hungary must go forward, not backward!” the party wrote in a statement sent to state news agency MTI.
Fidesz’s list does not include politicians who have been suspected of illegal activity in the past few months or years. This includes Pál Völner, who retains his parliamentary mandate but was forced to resign as state secretary in November after a corruption probe on him was made public, as well as György Simonka, who the Prosecutor’s Office accuses of budget-related fraud as part of a criminal organization.
The ruling party will nominate Gábor Erős in Komárom-Esztergom County’s 2nd district in place of Pál Völner, while Norbert Erdős will run in Békés County’s 4th district instead of György Simonka.
Telex reports that the party has replaced a total of 26 candidates who ran in the 2018 election. This includes some of the bigger names in Fidesz, such as Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás, who won a seat in Parliament four years ago in Budapest’s District XII.
Likewise, Fidesz parliamentary group leader Máté Kocsis won’t be a candidate in Budapest’s District VII-IX, nor will Finance Minister Mihály Varga in the capital’s District II. According to the party, the decision not to run these MPs for re-election was so that they could devote their full energy toward Fidesz’s national campaign.
The marquee individual race this year will undoubtedly be the 4th electoral district in Csongrád-Csanád County, which will pit incumbent János Lázár, former mayor of Hódmezővásárhely and former Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, against Péter Márki-Zay, the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate and the current mayor of Hódmezővásárhely.
Lázár won the seat for Fidesz with 51.8% of the vote, but he faced a divided group of challengers, unlike this year, when six opposition parties have united around Márki-Zay as their candidate for the seat. [Magyar Hang]