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Tag: Momentum

Momentum: Katalin Novák is Unfit to Be President

The Momentum Movement considers Katalin Novák as an unsuitable candidate to embody the unity of the nation, and wants the head of state to be directly elected by voters.

In response to Katalin Novák’s inauguration as President of Hungary on Saturday, Momentum’s Márton Tompos wrote on Facebook:

A one-sided election by a two-thirds majority of the Fidesz Parliament gave her this position. Just half a year ago, she was still a member of Fidesz and a minister without portfolio in Viktor Orbán’s government.

A statement by the party added that “Momentum believes that Katalin Novák, like János Áder before her, is unfit to embody the unity of the nation.”

Momentum continues to prefer that the head of state be directly elected by voters, as the political opposition coalition stressed during the election campaign. The six-party opposition nominated economist Péter Róna as their candidate for head of state. [Index]

Miklós Hajnal to Run for Chair of Momentum

Momentum’s Miklós Hajnal announced his candidacy for party president in a Facebook post on Friday, writes Népszava.

The opposition politician, who won an individual race in Budapest’s Hegyvidék district in the April 3 election, had previously rejected claims alleging that he was interested in the post.

But with current president Anna Donáth announcing her pregnancy four days ago and declaring that she would not be running again for the position, Hajnal wrote that “a radically new situation has arisen in Momentum.”

A week ago, I didn’t think I’d be writing a post like this, and I wasn’t prepared for this role. (…) Many now truly see Momentum as the only ray of hope. As a new parliamentary actor, we can show a new direction to the opposition side. I believe in my community, and believe that overthrowing Fidesz requires a strong and decisive Momentum in the opposition space.

-stated Hajnal in his announcement post. [Népszava]

Donáth Confirms Pregnancy, Won’t Run for Momentum Presidency Again

“The news is true: I am expecting a child, so I won’t be running again to be president of Momentum,” wrote Anna Donáth on Facebook on Monday.

Tabloid Blikk had already leaked the news a few days ago that the Momentum President had told her fellow party members that she was expecting her first child, but she had not made a public statement on the matter until now.

Donáth also wrote in her post:

A wonderful thing is happening in my life: I will be a mother. In addition, I have had to reevaluate many things in terms of my personal and political future. I realized that I would not be able to handle the daily presidential duties of Momentum, which is getting stronger and stronger and has a bright future ahead of it, while facing the task of motherhood with its exceptionally exciting, but numerous unknown challenges.

The politician added:

But I’m not worried about Momentum. This community is much more than a single politican or leader. I won’t disappear either. As a Momentum politician, I will continue to do my best to create a just, humane Hungary.

-wrote Anna Donáth, who closed her post by thanking everyone for their good wishes and a request for privacy in the future. [Magyar Hang]

Prosecutors Ask for Community Service for Man Who Attacked Momentum Politicians

The Prosecutor’s Office for Budapest Districts II and III charged a 48-year-old man with disturbing the peace after he attacked several opposition Momentum politicians in October 2021.

The man attacked, among others, then-Momentum President András Fekete-Győr and kicked over a microphone stand at a party press conference. No one was physically injured in the attack. A statement released by prosecutors wrote that the accused attacker had disturbed the press conference, held in Budapest’s District II, with yelling and loud cursing.

The prosecution requested a substantive ruling in the case without requiring a trial, and asked the court to sentence the man to community service. [Telex]

Hadházy Kicked Out of Momentum Caucus After He Airs Grievances with Party

Although Momentum had previously indicated that it would boycott the opening session of Parliament on May 2, the party appeared to change its mind after Fidesz group leader Máté Kocsis made clear that those who skip the event wouldn’t be allowed to serve on committees in Parliament or even be representatives.

Momentum decided on Thursday evening that it would take part in the inaugural session after all, but that its MPs would still boycott the session right after they take their oath of office.

Independent MP Ákos Hadházy, who won an individual seat in Budapest’s Zugló district with the support of Momentum, called the party’s reversal on the issue a “tragic decision” on Friday morning.

But it appears that Hadházy’s outspoken comments did not come without consequences. After the politician gave an interview to Alfahír, Momentum informed the news site that Hadházy would not be a part of its parliamentary caucus after all, meaning that the party’s group in Parliament will now have 10 MPs instead of 11. [444, 444]

Hollik: MPs Not at the Opening Session of Parliament Won’t Be Able to Hold Office

Members of Parliament who do not take an oath of office at the inaugural session of Parliament will not be able to hold any official position in the National Assembly, wrote Fidesz communications director István Hollik on Facebook Monday night.

Hollik no doubt was responding to debates within the opposition as to whether there was any point in being present at Parliament’s opening session on May 2. Momentum, for example, has set five conditions that must be met in order for the party’s MPs to take part in the ceremony.

Others have argued for stronger action: Ákos Hadházy, who will caucus with Momentum, has argued that it may make more sense for the opposition simply not to accept their mandates unless certain conditions are met, although Momentum’s Anna Orosz has announced that she would take her seat in Parliament. [Telex]

Momentum’s Anna Orosz to Take Her Seat in Parliament

Anna Orosz, who beat Fidesz’s István Simicskó as an individual candidate in Újbuda, announced on Facebook that she would be accepting her seat in Parliament.

Her party, Momentum, has been saying that they won’t be just a “decorative opposition,” but this doesn’t mean that the candidates who won from their party won’t be accepting their mandates.

Orosz wrote that she would represent Újbuda residents by fighting for green areas and the independence of Újbuda’s municipal government, work to reduce waiting times in hospitals, and make sure there are enough teachers in the district’s nurseries and kindergartens who receive an appropriate salary. [Azonnali]

Momentum launches fidesz.ru site to highlight ruling party’s Russian ties

image of fidesz.ru logo

If Orbán really wants security, why has he exposed Hungary to Putin?

-asked Momentum in a recent Facebook post, in which the party also announced the launch of fidesz.ru to highlight the ruling Hungarian party’s ties to the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The latest posters by the Hungarian Government, funded from billions of forints of public money, claim that Viktor Orbán wants peace and security for Hungary. But let’s face it, this doesn’t depend on him: he has done everything in the last 12 years to make Hungary, in its war rhetoric, a state dependent on Putin.

-stated the Momentum Movement in a Sunday press release, quoted in HVG.

At fidesz.ru, the party lays out its evidence of “How Viktor Orbán has exposed Hungary to Russian interests over the past 12 years, putting the country’s security at risk.”

To make as many people as possible aware of the site, the party has made “additions” to government posters in several big cities.

As Momentum summarizes their newest campaign:

After 12 years of continual hate speech and ‘freedom fights,’ we’re at the point where Hungary is no longer an independent country: Viktor Orbán has made it completely vulnerable to Russia. Hiding behind the slogan ‘we will not be a colony,’ he has done just the opposite: he chained the country to Russia through expensive loans and set up a Russian spy bank in Budapest, and now Russian propaganda even comes from public media.

[Magyar Hang][Image: Momentum Mozgalom / Facebook]

Momentum launches website to monitor “voting tourism” electoral fraud

picture of Miklós Hajnal and Bernadett Szél

Momentum board member Miklós Hajnal and independent MP Bernadett Szél (pictured) announced the launch of website voksturizmus.momentum.hu, which is designed to track changes in the population of individual electoral districts on a continual basis.

As previously reported, the regulations over establishing residence in Hungary changed at the end of last year, essentially meaning that it is no longer necessary to actually live at the address where a citizen is registered. Opposition politicians claim that the rule change has given a green light to election fraud, especially in connection with voting rights granted to ethnic Hungarians in neighboring countries.

Fidesz made it easier for so-called “voting tourism” to take place last December, but we fought for the National Election Office to publish weekly population data in each electoral district.

-said Bernadett Szél, referring to her efforts to push for this data to be released on a regular basis.

She also expressed the need to ensure that the April 3 parliamentary election will be fair:

The fairness of the electoral system in Hungary is in serious jeopardy, which is why there’s a need for ballot counters everywhere. But we must also keep a regular watch on the path we’ve gone down so far. I will use this website in my own district.

Miklós Hajnal stressed that Momentum’s IT team developed the site so that the data published weekly by the election office could be viewed immediately.

This way, we can follow in real time by how much the number of registered voters in a given electoral district has increased or decreased since December.

-stated Miklós Hajnal, adding that the data published on the website will be able to determine whether changes in the number of registered voters in an electoral district is a result of voting tourism or just natural population movement.

[Index][Photo: Miklós Hajnal / Facebook]

Momentum leadership apparently concerned that Márki-Zay may siphon off its members

picture of Anna Donáth and Péter Márki-Zay

Momentum’s presidency has circulated a letter to the party’s entire membership stating that members will have to indicate if they have a working relationship with Péter Márki-Zay’s Everybody’s Hungary Movement.

According to the letter, as “Péter Márki-Zay has repeatedly declared to the general public his intention to form his own party,” it will now be mandatory for members and supporting members to inform the party’s administration if they have a working relationship with Everybody’s Hungary Movement or Péter Márki-Zay in any form. Those who do work with the opposition’s candidate for prime minister or his nascent political movement will have to apply for permission from either the party’s administration or presidency to continue this work.

The party, which just elected Anna Donáth (pictured, left, with Péter Márki-Zay) as its new president in the past few months, explained its reasoning in the following way:

The party’s Presidency has learned that Péter Márki-Zay is attracting many people into his party-building efforts, among them members of the Momentum Movement. So that we can see exactly how the Momentum Movement is helping Prime Minister-designate Péter Márki-Zay and his joint campaign, and in which areas members of the Party are providing support, it is important for us to know the identity of the participants and the nature of this co-operation.

Just a few days ago, Péter Márki-Zay indicated that he would be willing to give up his hopes of a seventh parliamentary caucus for smaller, conservative political parties in order to keep peace in the coalition, but Azonnali writes that there are still serious tensions over the issue.

Momentum was the first party to throw its support behind Márki-Zay in the second round of the primary elections to determine the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate, which is why it is a little surprising that the party is now apparently concerned about losing members to his political movement.

[Azonnali][Photo: Anna Donáth / Facebook]

Donáth thinks opposition should pick up the pace with campaigning

picture of Anna Donáth

The president of Momentum once again has some strong words for the six-party opposition and the campaign strategy of the joint prime ministerial candidate.

In an interview with the periodical Jelen, Anna Donáth told host Rita Benyó that there is a lot of work going on in the background, even if from the outside it appears that the opposition has taken it easy following the fall primary elections. She also said that the joint opposition campaign should not imitate Fidesz’s propaganda machine, in reference to Péter Márki-Zay’s migrant counter campaign.

The Momentum MEP’s current thoughts echo her comments to Telex shortly after she was elected as the party’s president, when she said that the opposition had “thrown the past month out the window” and also thought it wrong to mirror Fidesz’s terminology and enemy imagery.

Momentum insists on “restoring the rule of law within the rule of law framework,” she said, adding:

There’s a lot that can be solved with a simple majority. We need to focus on what is possible and not talk about what isn’t. On top of that, we should be doing everything we can to get a two-thirds majority. We just have to start, we really should be campaigning.

The Momentum president also responded to László Kövér’s leaked speech in front of senior intelligence officers, in which he said that the opposition was the biggest threat to national security. According to Donáth, the governing parties realize that they may lose this election, and Kövér’s words evoke the period of the darkest dictatorships.

The full interview can be viewed here (in Hungarian):

[Telex]

Opposition campaign will not be built on inciting hatred, says Donáth

picture of Anna Donáth

The new president of Momentum does not want the opposition’s joint campaign to incite anger or hate, nor does she agree with Péter Márki-Zay’s migrant counter billboard, because “sometimes you have to draw a red line.” In an interview with Telex, Anna Donáth also mentioned that she does not plan to quit her current role as MEP but would lead the party half the time from Brussels, and that it is time to shake up the party, as well as the opposition’s campaign.

After assuming the post on Sunday, Anna Donáth’s new mandate as party president will only last until next summer. But because she has a “vision” of where to take Hungary and Momentum, she said that she had not yet ruled out the possibility of running for the position again.

In the meantime, “there’s no question we need to change the government in 2022,” she said, because “the primary elections and the success of Péter Márki-Zay show that people need a new impetus and new faces.” However, until the change of government occurs, “there is still a lot of work to be done and a lot of steps that have to be taken.”

Regarding the joint campaign of the opposition parties, Donáth said, “I really don’t want the joint campaign to be based on inciting anger and hatred.” On this point, the Momentum President also criticized the recent migrant counter billboard stunt put on by opposition prime minister-designate Péter Márki-Zay: “I think it is a mistake to wage war using Fidesz’s phrasing and enemy images instead of talking about real problems.”

“Momentum will not assist in providing the backbone of the campaign with an issue that it cannot identify with and that goes against what we have promised our voters so far.”

She also offered some pointed criticism of the recent behavior of some of her fellow opposition politicans. “Many of them have taken it easy after the primaries. The opposition has thrown the past month out the window,” stated Anna Donáth.

[HVG]

Anna Donáth chosen as new Momentum president

picture of Anna Donáth

Anna Donáth (pictured) has been chosen as the second Momentum president in the history of the party, reports Azonnali.

Two other candidates had also competed for the party’s top spot in addition to Donáth. Anna Orosz, the Deputy Mayor of Újbuda and a member of the party’s leadership, and Gábor Hollai, a representative in Budapest’s District XVI municipality, were also in the running for the position, which was chosen by the party’s selection committee.

Donáth, who currently represents the party in the European Parliament, won 57% of the committee’s vote. Her competitor Anna Orosz was second with 29%, with Hollai in the third place spot at 14%.

When she announced her candidacy, Donáth wrote, “I have been an active member of Momentum for the past five years, and this community has been the most defining part of my life for five years. As president, I am committed to shaking up and holding together the community of Momentum members and those advocating change, so that we can finally replace the government in 2022.”

On her future plans as party leader, Donáth stated that she would “represent a socially-sensitive worldview with a greater emphasis on tackling the challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change.”

She added that “in the coming decades, we need to reorganize society around communities so that we have a chance to fight the climate catastrophe and the astonishing rise in the rate of inequality.”

“Strong communities and strong community action are needed at both the municipal and European-wide level. That is what I mean by a progressive, green, socially sensitive policy, and that is what I will represent as the head of the Momentum,” wrote the party’s new president.

The Momentum presidency became vacant after András Fekete-Győr, who had led the party from the beginning in 2017, lost a vote of confidence from board members after he placed last in the primary election to be the prime ministerial candidate of the joint opposition. However, the party still chose Fekete-Győr to lead their party list at next year’s elections as well as the head of the Momentum caucus in Parliament.

[Azonnali]

Gábor Hollai declares candidacy for Momentum party chair

picture of Gábor Hollai

Momentum is holding an extraordinary party assembly on November 21, where a new president will be elected after co-founder András Fekete-Győr resigned from the post following a poor showing at the recently-concluded primary elections.

The party confirmed to Telex that in addition to District XI Deputy Mayor Anna Orosz and MEP Anna Donáth, Gábor Hollai has also declared his candidacy for party chair.

Hollai previously ran in the primary elections to be the opposition’s candidate in Budapest’s 13th electoral district, where he got a third-place showing with just 24.6% of the vote.

Deputy Mayor Orosz is currently the acting chair of Momentum.

[Telex]

Momentum chooses its members for joint party list

picture of Momentum party on stage

Momentum has decided which of its members will be on the joint opposition party list and the order in which they will appear, the party said on Sunday night. A selection delegation from the party took into account the political experience of each candidate, their roles in local municipalities, and their performance in previous campaigns.

As previously reported, András Fekete-Győr will still lead the list despite resigning as party chair after a poor showing in the primary elections to be the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate.

Second place on the list went to Márton Tompos, party spokesperson, and the third to Ferenc József Gelencsér, Momentum’s representative and deputy mayor in Budapest’s District I. Anikó Paróczai in Kispest and Dániel Berg, deputy mayor of District II in Budapest, also appear on the party’s list. Index has published the full list on its site.

Anna Orosz, acting party chair and an individual candidate for the Újbuda seat in Parliament, and Anna Donáth, a Member of the European Parliament, are competing against each other to lead the party in a vote expected later this month.

The opposition parties have already begun talks on how to divide up spots on their joint national list, for which there is expected to be strong competition. The coalition expects to gain at least 45 seats in Parliament, but these have to be divided between the six parties and Péter Márki-Zay, their joint prime ministerial candidate.

[Magyar Hang]

Momentum might get more applicants for party chair

Following Anna Donáth’s announcement of her candidacy for the chair of Momentum, HVG details the application process for prospective candidates. Those seeking to lead the party will have be convincing in word and speech, submit formal application materials, outline their plans in person, and convince the selection committee of their suitability for the post.

Applicants will have until November 7 to submit their materials to the committee, with the election set to take place on November 21.

District XI Deputy Mayor Anna Orosz is currently the acting chair of the party, assuming the role when founder András Fekete-Győr lost a vote of confidence and resigned following his poor showing in the first round of the opposition’s primary election. Orosz is currently the only other declared candidate for the post of party chair.

Anna Donáth announces candidacy for Momentum chair

Azonnali reports that Anna Donáth, one of Momentum’s representatives in the European Parliament, has decided to run for the post of party chair, joining Anna Orosz, who had previously announced her candidacy.

Orosz, a Vice-Mayor of the District XI government, is currently acting party chair, a post which has been left empty since party founder András Fekete-Győr resigned following his last-place showing in the opposition’s primary elections last month.

In a post announcing her candidacy, Donáth came out in support of a green, environmentally-focused agenda, and stronger communities to fight the climate catastrophe. The Momentum EP also promotes an active and supportive government for the future, which is essential in the fight against climate change.

The party expects to choose its new leader in November. [Azonnali]

Momentum’s new president to be decided in November

Following András Fekete-Győr’s resignation as president of Momentum earlier this month, the party has decided to choose a new leader only in November, writes Index. At the moment, Anna Orosz, Momentum’s nominee for parliament in Újbuda, is the only candidate who has declared interest in the post.

After coming in last place in the first round of the primary elections, Fekete-Győr requested a vote of confidence in his leadership from a party delegation. The delegation recommended a new person at the top post, leading to Fekete-Győr’s resignation. However, the party nevertheless placed him at the top of their party list for next year’s elections.

András Fekete-Győr to lead Momentum’s party list

Momentum announced yesterday that party founder András Fekete-Győr will lead the party’s list for the parliamentary elections next year despite having resigned from leading the party this month after a poor showing in the first round of the primary elections.

The party notes that under Fekete-Győr’s leadership over the past five and a half years, Momentum has become one of the biggest opposition parties in Hungary, two Momentum party members have entered the European Parliament, and over 130 party members have been elected to local Hungarian governments. [444]