Four weeks before the election for Hungary’s head of state, the opposition parties have still not chosen anyone as a joint candidate to run against Fidesz’s designated nominee, Katalin Novák. But Péter Márki-Zay, their candidate for prime minister, has come out in support of Gábor Iványi (pictured) for the post, writes Telex.
Opposition leader Márki-Zay believes that the pastor, former parliamentary representative, and head of the Oltalom Charity Society and the Hungarian Evangelical Brotherhood would be a good choice, as he is capable of integrating the country and is someone that all political sides could get behind. Márki-Zay made clear that until the six-party coalition unites around a single candidate for the March 10 election, Iványi is his only preference.
Asked by Telex, Iványi said he would accept the nomination if requested. He also said, however, that if all six opposition parties jointly support another candidate, he will not contest the nomination and gladly support that person as well. In the meantime, an online petition has been launched in support of Iványi’s nomination.
One problem with officially nominating Iványi as the united opposition’s candidate for head of state is that Jobbik, the second-strongest party in the coalition, prefers an internationally-recognized Hungarian professor as its head of state nominee.
It seems unlikely that the United for Hungary coalition would be able to nominate a candidate for head of state without Jobbik; an official nomination for the post requires a minimum of 40 Members of Parliament to give their assent, but DK, MSZP, Dialogue, and LMP combined only have 35 MPs.
Originally, the united opposition decided that it would hold another primary election to choose a candidate for head of state, as it did for its prime ministerial candidate, but it later scrapped those plans.
Péter Márki-Zay noted that in the future, the President of Hungary should be chosen by citizens instead of by Parliament, and he promised that if able to form a government, he will work to change the laws accordingly. [HVG]