Viktor Orbán, Fidesz-KDNP’s candidate for prime minister, kicked off the official start to Hungary’s election campaign with a nearly 50-minute-long speech to a packed house in the Castle Garden Bazaar. In his speech, the Prime Minister downplayed his opponents, while magnifying the threat they posed so that he could position himself as the only solution.
Fifty days before parliamentary elections, Viktor Orbán gave his annual assessment of the year speech, reminiscent of the yearly State of the Union speech given by the U.S. President, and just a day after DK Chair Ferenc Gyurcsány gave his own evaluation of the year speech.
Orbán’s speech was more of a campaign stump speech than a typical annual assessment speech: he outlined the main themes of the campaign, identified his political enemies, and spoke about the direction he envisioned for the country.
At the beginning of the speech, the Prime Minister delivered a short stand-up bit on the perceived or real problems of the political opposition, repeatedly referring to certain notorious comments that have been made by opposition prime minister-designate Péter Márki-Zay.
Orbán even went so far as to suggest that Péter Márki-Zay must be on drugs, claiming that “this kind of confusion only happens when someone is on mushrooms.”
The Prime Minister’s comment was likely referring to comments made by Márki-Zay last year, in which the united opposition’s candidate for prime minister claimed that Fidesz wins elections by “keeping people like mushrooms: in the dark and fed manure.”
During his speech, the Prime Minister never called Péter Márki-Zay by name, but specifically called out former Prime Ministers Ferenc Gyurcsány and Gordon Bajnai as his main enemies, “since they came up with this show, and are in fact preparing their return.”
Orbán even called Márki-Zay “Mini-Feri,” a reference to the diminutive of Gyurcsány’s first name, as well as to an advertising campaign funded by the Civil Unity Forum (CÖF).
Márki-Zay: Orbán Dealt More With Me Than With the Country’s Problems
In a short post on Facebook, Péter Márki-Zay responded to Orbán’s speech, which was the 23rd time for the Fidesz leader. As Márki-Zay pointed out, the Prime Minister spent a lot of time dealing with him, but “not at all with the real problems of the country.”
It was pretty much what I suspected: empty rhetoric, confused pictures, flowery speech. And if he was serious about everything he said, he would have a debate with me.
-stated Márki-Zay, who added:
The only good thing about Viktor Orbán’s assessment of the year speech was that this was his last one as prime minister.