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Tag: Péter Márki-Zay

Márki-Zay on Direkt36 Report: “I’m Glad I Was the Only One Who Made Mistakes”

“I’m glad I was the only one who made mistakes, and everyone else was perfect. At least this is what I learned this from the Direkt36 investigative report,” wrote Péter Márki-Zay on Facebook on Wednesday in response to Direkt36’s detailed investigative article on the failures of the opposition’s election campaign that it published on Tuesday.

The opposition’s nominee for prime minister claimed that while the article gave an accounting of the opposition’s shortcomings, it did not say what they had done well.

He then pointed out in his post what Direkt36 had failed to point out. As he wrote, the opposition did not lose the election and give a two-thirds majority to Fidesz for the first time. However, he pointed out that:

For the first time, we chose 106 nominees in a primary election, held a six-party joint campaign, received 400,000 Ft. in micro-donations in a nearly 3 billion Ft. campaign, had 27,000 vote counters in 11,000 places around the country, bused in 100,000 people for a rally in March, formed a joint opposition list and joint platform, and now have three Roma representatives in Parliament.

The opposition candidate acknowledged that he had said a few things poorly, “just as there were weak posters, communication materials, logistical problems and shortcomings throughout the campaign.”

But he also claimed that:

Whoever thinks these things are responsible for the enormous, 20% loss is lying. And at the same time, they legitimize the Fidesz regime, which claims that democracy still exists here and that it is only because of the opposition’s weakness that we could not prevent a two-thirds victory for the fourth time in a row.

Márki-Zay wrote that the real causes for the defeat were not due to the opposition, but because of the overwhelming superiority “a hundred times over in resource dominance, in Fidesz’s propaganda machinery, in the independent press and institutions that have shrunk over the years, in the feudal dependency system and vulnerability, in databases for the entire population, and in the capacity to mobilize.”

“We were fighting a tank division with a slingshot,” summarized the opposition politician. [HVG]

Márki-Zay Responds to Direkt36 Report, Explains Campaign Failures

Speaking on ATV’s Egyenes Beszéd program, Péter Márki-Zay, the political opposition’s joint candidate for prime minister, said that he was shocked by an article published by investigative outlet Direkt36 on Tuesday on the reasons for his election defeat and the collapse of the opposition. He was also shocked and hurt to see how many times the heads of the six-party coaltion made decisions behind his back.

He added that business and lobbying interests had tried to influence the campaign, which he attempted to stop. At the same time, Márki-Zay also took responsibility for his election loss.

Well, I’m sure I made a million mistakes.

-he said, in large part because of his inadequate campaign messaging.

Péter Márki-Zay also mentioned that he felt he was the candidate in the primary election least likely to be lumped in with former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, still loathed by large numbers of voters, which is why he won the primary. This is also why Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony withdrew as a primary candidate, but their calculations didn’t work out in the end.

Fidesz then made a campaign about Gyurcsány […] half a year later they were already lumping me in with Gyurcsány […] I was sad to see that Fidesz’s communication capabilities were not only able to make this possible, but that they could make hundreds of thousands of people in this country believe that we would be taking away their children to die in Ukraine.

-said Péter Márki-Zay at the end of the interview. [Index]

Péter Márki-Zay Setting Up New Political Party

“We are forming a party of civilians,” wrote Péter Márki-Zay in a Facebook post on Monday morning, adding that issues related to setting up the party will be addressed when his organization, the Everybody’s Hungary Movement, elects officers at the end of May.

The former nominee for prime minister of the joint opposition claimed that the Everybody’s Hungary Movement, and the civilians it represents, were strongly disadvantaged during the elections, as cooperation with the opposition meant that they could not assert their interests through a single party.

Márki-Zay won a seat in Parliament on the opposition’s party list, but indicated after the elections that he would not accept it, and instead keep his current job as mayor of Hódmezővásárhely. [HVG]

Péter Márki-Zay: Some Opposition Parties Don’t Want to Overthrow Fidesz

Péter Márki-Zay thinks that boycotting the opening session of Parliament on Monday would have been an excellent opportunity for Hungary’s opposition parties to protest the lack of democracy and freedom of the press in the country, according to a video the former nominee for prime minister livestreamed on Sunday evening.

At the moment, only Ákos Hadházy will boycott Monday’s inaugural session of Parliament, while Momentum MPs will leave the room after taking the oath of office.

Although the opposition’s former nominee for prime minister did not name any names, he also had some sharp words in his nearly hour-and-a-half-long video for several parties he worked with in the campaign:

There are parties that haven’t uncovered any Fidesz corruption over the past four years. There are parties that only took part in the opposition campaign with hems and haws, who didn’t want to give money to it, didn’t want to give experts to it, only campaigned at ‘half-steam,’ who were perfectly satisfied with getting as many seats in Parliament as they could, and then get as much money as they could.

These parties (…) do not want to overthrow Viktor Orbán.

-stated Péter Márki-Zay. [Telex]

Karácsony: Different Nominee Would Not Have Changed Election Result

“I strongly doubt that we would have had a fundamentally different result if anyone else had been the nominee for prime minister,” said Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, one of the candidates running for the position himself on the opposition side, to Inforádió. Karácsony was responding to the question of whether in retrospect it had been a good idea to withdraw his candidacy in favor of Péter Márki-Zay, the eventual nominee.

“I determined that with Péter Márki-Zay as the prime ministerial nominee, the opposition would be better able to project itself as building a future-oriented politics,” the Mayor told Inforádió. [444]

Péter Márki-Zay Launches New “Nerpédia” Initiative

“Public property is our common property!” writes Péter Márki-Zay on Facebook. The former prime ministerial candidate for the democratic opposition writes that “replacing the Orbán regime requires new initiatives that show and expose the regime’s malice, so that the truth reaches even the smallest settlements.”

Márki-Zay believes that “Nerpédia” could be a key part of this aim. The new effort, which appears to combine the acronym of Orbán’s System of National Cooperation (NER) with the ending “-pedia,” is designed to expose abuses.

“Everyone has the right to know if they are mistreated by a lawmaker, and Nerpédia can help with with this,” says Márki-Zay, who closes his post by encouraging his supporters to “read and edit Nerpedia yourself.” [Magyar Hang]

Péter Márki-Zay Accepts Invitation to Meet with János Lázár

Hódmezővásárhély Mayor Péter Márki-Zay has accepted an invitation to meet with János Lázár, the mayor wrote on Facebook.

Márki-Zay, the united opposition’s candidate for prime minister, also ran as individual candidate in the 2022 elections in the electoral district around Hódmezővásárhely, but was bested by Fidesz’s Lázár, also a former mayor of the southern Hungarian town and a former member of the Orbán government.

Prior to the April 3 elections, Lázár said Márki-Zay would be a “political corpse” after the votes were counted. On Wednesday, he invited Márki-Zay to a joint work meeting. [Telex]

Márki-Zay’s New Party Will Run Candidates in 2024 European Elections

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

Péter Márki-Zay has set a goal of establishing a new European people’s party that will fight corruption and all forms of extremism, and which he hopes will join the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament.

In a new video posted to social media on Easter Sunday, the former prime ministerial candidate for Hungary’s opposition said that we shouldn’t make the mistake of looking for the cause of the huge defeat in the elections two weeks ago.

Essentially, the system that has been built up around us is the reason why this very important project, which I staked my life on, was not able to succeed on April 3.

-said the opposition politician, who believes that the last chance to overthrow Viktor Orbán’s regime has passed. However, anyone who thinks that it is possible to replace this regime in four years’ time also legitimizes the current situation.

Márki-Zay stated that it would take time to process the defeat, as well as find new ways that can move Hungary forward.

Those who have been holding each other’s hands as they now mourn must not let go as they build anew. Communities also have to be strengthened in places where their painful lack of them caused defeat. The talks that began two weeks could be a way out of this crisis.

For Hungary is in crisis.

-said the politician, who claimed that in the past few days, 2,000 people had already applied to join his Kossuth Circles initiative, which he called small circles of freedom that can be used to build the solutions of the future upon. Márki-Zay asked his followers to join this ever-expanding community.

The Kossuth Circles welcome all who want to do something to keep Hungary from being “the poorest, most depopulated, and most corrupt country in the European Union.” To do this, new forms of public expression have to be created, said the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely.

At the end of his video message, Péter Márki-Zay said that his goal was to launch a European people’s party that would take part in the 2024 European Parliament elections.

This party, said the politician, will fight all expressions of corruption and extremism, and will hope to have a home in the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament, while closely cooperating with Márki-Zay’s Everybody’s Hungary Movement and the Kossuth Circles.

[Index][Photo: Péter Márki-Zay / Facebook]

Will Bernadett Szél Take Péter Márki-Zay’s Seat in Parliament?

picture of Bernadett Szél

There is no need to figure out who is to blame or who is responsible for the opposition’s election defeat, as it was due to Fidesz’s “Death Star” – the propaganda machinery that spreads fake news, said Péter Márki-Zay on ATV’s Egyenes Beszéd.

The rules of the game need to change, otherwise the outcome won’t change either.

-he said, adding that a non-democratic regime cannot be defeated in a democratic election.

The prime ministerial candidate for the united opposition also spoke about who he would prefer take the parliamentary mandate he won on the joint party list but will be declining.

Márki-Zay stressed that the decision over his replacement will primarily be the decision of the six parties, but he said that his preference was Bernadett Szél, who came up short as a candidate in an individual electoral district against Tamás Menczer of Fidesz.

On Saturday, Ákos Hadházy also strongly came out in favor of Szél for Márki-Zay’s seat. The independent MP wrote on Facebook that “along with Fidesz winning another two-thirds majority, Bernadett Szél’s loss was the most unjust and painful,” calling her “one of the most active, determined, popular, and credible members of the opposition.”

I can only dare to hope (and also recommend) that they offer her the mandate Péter Márki-Zay is giving up.

-wrote Hadházy about Szél, like himself a former LMP party member but now not affiliated with any party.

[HVG, HVG][Photo: Bernadett Szél / Facebook]

Opposition Wouldn’t Have Won With Left-Wing Candidate, Says Márki-Zay

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

Hódmezővásárhely Mayor Péter Márki-Zay (pictured), the opposition coalition’s candidate for prime minister this year, characterized the situation regarding the election defeat as if the Hungary of 1989, when the change of regime seemed imminent, had instead regressed back to 1970.

Speaking on Klubrádió, the opposition politician stated that until now, he believed it was possible to win while playing on an football field elevated in favor of Viktor Orbán, under rules he had made, but it has turned out that this is not the case.

Asked whether he saw any flaws in himself, Péter Márki-Zay replied, “Of course.”

I can’t change my style, and I haven’t even tried to.

-said Péter Márki-Zay, adding that “he apologizes for this and everything else” that depended on him.

But he also felt that it was a mistake to believe that they could have won with a candidate from the left, claiming that left-wing voters stuck with them.

If they hadn’t, he said, then the Hungarian Two-Tailed Dog Party would have gotten into Parliament instead of Our Homeland. Right-wing voters were hesitant to cast their vote for a list that included Ferenc Gyurcsány and DK, and quite prominently as well.

These mistakes are dangerous, believes Márki-Zay, because whoever thinks they can win the election with Klára Dobrev or Ferenc Gyurcsány four years from now will be in for a rude awakening. [Index]

With Elections Over, Public Television Now Interested in Péter Márki-Zay

picture of tv show logo

Tamás Lánczi will interview Péter Márki-Zay on his public television show “48 Minutes” on Thursday evening, announced hirado.hu.

Interestingly, when he was a prime ministerial candidate for the united opposition during the election, Márki-Zay was only given five minutes of airtime on state-run media. This means that the failed opposition candidate is now getting nearly 10 times more airtime on the television station funded by Hungarian taxpayers than he did during the election campaign.

According to hirado.hu, the conversation will be broadcast on M1 on Thursday at 8:35pm, but it can also be watched on hirado.hu itself, as well as on their Facebook page and YouTube channel.

It took a failed election to get more than 5 minutes of time on public television… In live shows, I’ve taken every opportunity so far to tell the truth to those who only have access to propaganda.

-Péter Márki-Zay wrote on Facebook Tuesday afternoon.

[HVG][Photo: hirado.hu]

Péter Márki-Zay Building New Center-Right Party Based on “Kossuth Circles”

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

“We’re building a center-right people’s party,” wrote Péter Márki-Zay, the united opposition’s candidate for prime minister in the April 3 election, on his Facebook page. After suffering another two-thirds defeat by Fidesz over a week ago, Márki-Zay wrote:

Now is the time for the opposition to embolden itself with a party that is acceptable to a wide range of right-wing supporters, free of any corruption or extremism.

The mayor of Hódmezővásárhely believes it is important to create a people’s party acceptable to center-right voters, which will then run candidates in the European Parliament elections two years from now as the Hungarian partner of the European People’s Party.

As he said in an interview with Népszava, he now wants “resistance instead of opposition,” intending his prospective new party to organize this in the near future, as well as stand up for an “opposition dragged along for political reasons.”

In today’s Hungary, in order to reach small rural settlements and the poorest people in the country, this party must take on a completely new role. We have 120 Kossuth Circles on our side, 27,000 vote counters and tens of thousands of activists.

-stated Péter Márki-Zay.

[Népszava][Photo: Péter Márki-Zay / Facebook]

Márki-Zay Appears Unlikely to Take His Seat in Parliament

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

Telex asked Péter Márki-Zay on Monday morning if he planned to accept a seat in the new National Assembly. He is entitled to a parliamentary mandate as the top person on the opposition’s party list, but he would have to give up his current job as mayor of Hódmezővásárhely.

I am going to focus on Hódmezővásárhely.

-Péter Márki-Zay told the news site. When asked if this meant he would not be taking a seat in Parliament, Márki-Zay answered:

I am going to work for the people of Vásárhely in the future, and in this light I will decide about the parliamentary mandate.

Based on this answer, he does not seem likely to take his seat in Parliament.

Péter Márki-Zay not only suffered a 53-35% national defeat on the party list ballot, but he also lost his individual race 52-39% to Fidesz candidate János Lázár in Csongrád-Csanád County’s 4th electoral district, although the result won’t be official until after the votes from abroad and absentee votes within the country come in this weekend. Hódmezővásárhely itself, where Márki-Zay is currently the mayor, also belongs to this constituency.

Márki-Zay only gave a brief comment regarding his local and national defeat, stating that he can now see that the unified opposition model did not work in overthrowing Fidesz.

The numbers show that we couldn’t reach the old Jobbik voters.

-said Márki-Zay, who stated the belief that at least 300,000 of Jobbik’s voters in 2018 had certainly voted for Our Homeland this time around, but that Fidesz had taken a share of them as well.

These Jobbik voters didn’t go for the united coalition and Ferenc Gyurcsány.

-he commented, promising a more detailed analysis and evaluation at a later time.

[Telex][Photo: Péter Márki-Zay / Facebook]

Márki-Zay Files Complaint Over “Lies” Spread by Orbán-Friendly Media

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

Péter Márki-Zay, the united opposition’s candidate for prime minister, has filed a complaint with the Hódmezővásárhely prosecutor’s office because he believes that allegations leveled by Viktor Orbán and the pro-government media meet the criteria of spreading fear and incitement.

At a press conference on Friday, the prime ministerial candidate said that statements by Fidesz politicians and their media qualify as incitement of hatred, such as claiming that he will take away the 13th month pension benefit from retirees. The opposition actually promised the opposite of this in its platform, but Fidesz’s speeches are causing tension that is directed against the opposition community and its politicians.

However, Márki-Zay said that the charge of spreading fear is even more serious. The opposition politician again denied that he would send Hungarian soldiers to fight in Ukraine, claiming that he had never said so.

These allegations by members of the government and pro-government media are especially contradictory, said Márki-Zay, because Hungary is doing exactly what they are accusing him of: allowing arms to be transferred to Ukraine. In addition, Defense Minister Tibor Benkő has said that Hungary’s security is ensured by NATO.

Moreover, Viktor Orbán is not even able to protect Hungarian airspace from a drone that passed through it, said the opposition politician. He added that government statements were only good for instilling fear in people.

Márki-Zay expressed the hope that the prosecutor’s office would storm into the Prime Minister’s Office in the Carmelite Monastery after his files his complaint.

A few hours before Márki-Zay’s press conference, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó wrote in a Facebook post that the “Hungarian left” continues to demand that “Hungary supply arms to the war in the neighboring country.”

“Our position, however, is clear. Despite demands from the opposition, we are not going to supply arms to the war in Ukraine,” Szijjártó said.

[HVG][Photo: Péter Márki-Zay / Facebook]

Péter Márki-Zay: There’s Only One Good Choice, Towards Europe

picture of political rally

The opposition alliance, United for Hungary, held a large rally in Budapest on the afternoon of March 15 to commemorate the country’s national holiday. Thousands of people came out to listen to music and listen to nine speakers.

Most of the speakers represented the coalition of Hungary’s main political opposition, but Donald Tusk, the Polish president of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament, also spoke at the event. The final speech at the event was given by Péter Márki-Zay, the candidate for prime minister of the opposition.

“Generations evoke the heroism of 1848, 1956, and 1989, the stand people took, their struggle and freedom,” began Péter Márki-Zay in the substantive part of his speech at the opposition’s rally on March 15. “A later age looks upon them with respect, even though they failed in a heroic fight,” the politician said.

This is us, the Hungarian people.

-he said, adding that during the revolutions, the freedom-loving part of the world looked upon these people with admiration and compassion.

We were proud to be Hungarian, they loved us wherever we went… It was good to be Hungarian anywhere in the world, we could be proud because we were on the right side of history.

-stated Márki-Zay.

But today, 33 years after the change of regime, the world no longer sees us as one people, but “we are only a single face.” As he claimed, “a man has expropriated us,” and if anyone says they are Hungarian anywhere in the world, this face now appears in front of them, as it has for the last 12 years, obviously referring to Viktor Orbán, though not referring to him by by name.

In reference to the Prime Minister, Márki-Zay said that Orban “had committed a terrible sin against the people here at home as well,” because he had divided the country, created wedges between people, and poisoned the words “people” and “nation.”

In 20 days, we have to vote for whether we want to be a people again, a nation, and not outsiders in our own country. We cannot be outsiders compared to those whom ‘this particular man’ calls a nation.

Because of Orbán’s selfishness and desire for power, said Péter Márki-Zay, we have “voluntarily chose the backward East over the developing West,” and “voluntarily returned to history’s bad side.”

“The election has never been so simple”

Referring to the parliamentary elections on April 3, the opposition’s candidate for prime minister said that “the election has never been so simple,” because we have only one good choice: choosing Europe over the East, choosing freedom over slavery and despotism.

Péter Márki-Zay then talked about his personal career, about how he never thought he would stand in front of so many people as a prime ministerial candidate and that half the country would hate him, while the other half expect hope and redemption from him.

That he gets vulgar remarks from strangers he has never hurt him, and never will. And that he meets those who have become uncertain due to propaganda, who wonder whether it is worth replacing Orbán’s regime with those who can be tempted by power, those who have overcome their extremist past and now do not accept any form of extremism.

“is it worth it?” he asked, for someone who “makes careless statements that can be misunderstood and, where appropriate, rightly criticized,” he said, quite obviously referring to himself and his statements that have caused controversy.

To all of this, Márki-Zay said that the opposition is strong because it is diverse, and that what they have built over the past 4 years offers a more peaceful and secure country even for those who do not vote for them. Hungary’s alliance with NATO and the EU will never be betrayed, he claimed.

What they promise

The list of “why will it get better” then came with a number of semi-tangible promises: they believe in a country, said Péter Márki-Zay, where

  • police are respected,
  • everyone is equal before the law,
  • affordable housing for young people is provided,
  • vaccination is not mandatory,
  • doctors are not legally mandated to treat patients,
  • nurses have a secure livelihood,
  • doctors make decisions on health care,
  • tests are free, and not parking,
  • teachers earn more than their recent graduates,
  • they are free to choose textbooks that don’t even need to be printed,
  • no extra taxes are put on food staples and the state does not take any money from those at the lowest income levels,
  • and benefits that have been unchanged for 12 years are doubled.

We believe in a Western country where the youth should not have to go to Europe, but Europe comes here. Until now, they have voted with their feet and gone West, not East. If the power of love overcomes the love of power, many of the 800,000 Hungarians who have gone abroad will return home so they can raise their children as Hungarian.

-said Péter Márki-Zay.

“I believes in miracles”

The mayor of Hódmezővásárhely believes that good always wins in the end, and that our country cannot be on the losing side forever, as “even those who vote against us want Hungary to advance.”

In Vásárhely, we proved that not every politician steals, that with honest leadership, the mayor does not get wealthy, but rather the city. That people are not judged by their skin color or political colors, that companies win tenders in an open competition, that a honest public figure does not look down from the Castle, but walks among the people and sometimes bends down to pick up their trash.

-stated Péter Márki-Zay, adding:

I believe in the future of Hungary, and yes, I believe in miracles. I have already experienced three times that alliances are capable or miracles.

-claimed the politician, referring to his previous election victories. He added that even public polling bears this out.

I ask you to believe in the majority of sober Hungarians, to believe in a rising Hungary. Hungary belongs to all of us. In three weeks, everyone has to convince three people to vote for us, and on April 3, we will have a two-thirds victory to replace the most corrupt government in our thousand-year history, the Orbán government.

In his final remarks, Péter Márki-Zay then said:

We believe that the young people of April will now bring forth a free Hungary and convince their parents and grandparents. We believe that the power belongs to the people, that on April 3 Hungary will return to the good side of history. We will finally be a winner, we will be a people again, we will be one nation again, and we can once again proudly say anywhere in the world, ‘I am Hungarian.’

We believe that out of the deep pit where Viktor Orbán has taken the country, the way out is not to the right, or to the left, but only upwards.

-said the opposition politician, echoing his campaign slogan of “Just upwards!”

[Telex][Photo: Péter Márki-Zay / Facebook]

Márki-Zay Calls on Orbán to Distance Himself More Firmly From Putin’s Aggression

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

In a video uploaded to Facebook, opposition leader Péter Márki-Zay (pictured) called on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán not to hide behind the joint EU statement on Ukraine, but to “firmly distance himself” from Russian aggression.

Márki-Zay’s statement followed the announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a video on Monday night that Moscow would recognize the arbitrarily-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic. Putin then authorized the Russian armed forces to “ensure the peace” in the areas recognized by Moscow as independent of Ukraine.

Later that evening, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced that “Hungary is part of the common EU position.” But Péter Márki-Zay said that this was not enough, and that the Prime Minister needed to take a clearer stand against the Russian President.

The opposition’s candidate for prime minister also called on Orban to pass a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting of the National Security Cabinet condemning Putin’s aggression and in support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, NATO, and our Western allies. [HVG]

Péter Márki-Zay Challenges János Lázár to Debate Him Since Orbán Apparently Won’t

picture of János Lázár

Péter Márki-Zay is not only vying to win the elections as the opposition’s candidate for prime minister, but is also running as an individual candidate for a parliamentary seat in Csongrád-Csanád County’s 4th electoral district. The incumbent is Fidesz politician János Lázár (pictured), who is running for re-election.

Márki-Zay believes that debate is the basis for democracy, and as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will not agree to debate him, he has thrown down the gauntlet for Lázár:

I ask János Lázár to pay his respect to the electorate by doing this. I am confident that he will be braver than his boss, and not run away and hide behind lies.

-wrote the politician in a post directed to the former mayor of Hódmezővásárhely and minister of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The opposition’s prime ministerial candidate is currently campaigning around the country. According to nyugat.hu, Márki-Zay made several important statements in a press conference on Saturday evening. Among other things, he said that if the opposition could form a government, all of the cities with county rights will receive the 1.4 billion Ft. (US $4.43 million) in compensation that they were entitled to but did not receive. These include opposition cities, including Szombathely and Márki-Zay’s hometown of Hódmezővásárhely, where he is the current mayor.

He also promised that he would restore certain powers to municipalities that had been taken away from them, such as over construction-related matters, the car tax, and their independent functioning. Moreover, if a municipality requests it, it will also have its primary and secondary schools and outpatient clinics returned. Szombathely Mayor András Nemény said in response to a question about this that his city would also ask for these institutions to be returned to them, as he believes they are an essential part of municipal government.

Márki-Zay also mentioned that there are currently 17,000 people who have signed up to be ballot counters for the opposition side. They are hoping to have a total of 21,000 people for this effort, but even now, they have more counters than in 2018.

In addition, the opposition leader revealed that the top five spots on the joint opposition list will be the coalition’s five most popular politicians. According to a large-sample poll, 53% of Hungarians are hoping to change the government this year. [Magyar Hang]

Márki-Zay Finds Orbán’s Comments on Children “Stomach-Churning”

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

Péter Márki-Zay, the opposition’s designated candidate for prime minister (pictured), condemned Viktor Orbán’s latest campaign video in rather strong terms.

The Prime Minister put a short video on social media this week of himself visiting a family, which included the statement that “nothing matters but whether you have children or not.”

Even as a father of seven, I find this lying hypocrisy stomach-turning, as the Prime Minister of the country he has plundered and made hundreds of thousands of its children into serfs and peons insolently plays the country’s wise and caring father.

-wrote Péter Márki-Zay on Facebook.

As he explained, there can be many paths to a fulfiling human life, and raising children is no doubt one of them. However, there are some for whom this was not their destiny, either because of circumstances beyond their control or because they have been called upon to do something for which they would not be able to take on the responsibility of raising a child.

The opposition leader believes that politicians have a reponsibility to make it easier for people to have children, adopt, or conceive through in vitro fertilization. Not only does the current government not do this, he says, but it doesn’t provide modern education or proper health care to Hungarian families either.

Last April, United for Hungary spokesperson Judit Péterfi spoke out to the media about how she felt judged and stigmatized for not having children as a woman in her 40s, and that she had sought therapy to help her deal with her concerns about not being married and childless. [Magyar Hang]

Márki-Zay Will Pay 5 Million Ft. If You Can Prove Gov’t Propaganda About Him Is True

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

Here you are, five million forints: enlighten people about who is lying. It’s not me.

-said Péter Márki-Zay as he ended his interview on ATV’s Egyenes Beszéd on Tuesday evening.

The prime ministerial candidate for Hungary’s united opposition is offering a total of 5 million Ft. (US $15,600) to anyone who can provide actual evidence of five allegations that government propaganda is claiming he believes.

The opposition leader said that he would give 1 million Ft. ($3,100) per statement to whoever can prove that he actually said any of the following:

  1. He would abolish the utility price cut policy,
  2. he would let migrants in the country,
  3. he would make Hungarians pay for health care,
  4. he would send Hungarians to India for eye surgery,
  5. he would close obstetric wards.

Márki-Zay said he would be waiting to hear from Fidesz propagandists with proof that he ever said such things, with a million forints for each of them. [Telex]

Advocacy Groups Protest After Márki-Zay Calls Fidesz Propagandists “Disabled”

picture of Péter Márki-Zay

Péter Márki-Zay called propagandists for Fidesz “disabled” (fogyatékos) in his regular Sunday livestream, which several advocacy organizations have asked him to apologize for.

I’m sorry, but if the poor Fidesz propagandists are so disabled – and ‘disabled’ isn’t the most fortunate word here because we love the disabled, but I have an real problem with the lying Fidesz propagandists. So, obviously they likely have no intellectual ability. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but in no way do I have a problem with their intellectual capabilities. The infinite vile evil – that is what characterizes this company of thieves.

-stated the opposition prime ministerial candidate.

In response to the ensuing uproar over the use of the word, Márki-Zay claimed that the pro-government media had twisted his words and taken them out of context.

444 noted that the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate tried to immediately correct himself by saying that “disabled” wasn’t “the most fortunate word,” adding that “we love the disabled.” He then attempted to connect this to the mental faculties of “Fidesz propagandists,” but realizing that this was also a poor comparison, he tried to get out of it by saying that he didn’t “have a problem with their intellectual capabilities,” but rather with their vile intent.

Following Márki-Zay’s comments, the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing sent a statement to news agency MTI stating that they, along with several other organizations, objected to Márki-Zay’s statement.

Advocacy groups say that using the word “disabled” as a negative attribute is offensive, and have been fighting for years to eliminate the pejorative meaning of the word in public discourse.

We expect zero tolerance on this. Such words cannot be relativized, or waved away as a mere slip of the tongue or hastily-worded statement.

-the groups wrote.

The National Autistic Association, the National Association of Groups for the Disabled, the Psychiatric Advocacy Forum, the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the National Association for the Deaf-Blind, and the National Advocacy Association for the Mentally Disabled and their Helpers all called on Péter Márki-Zay to apologize for his offensive comment. [Telex]