Down in the polls, down on the PM, but not up to taking him onOne year on from Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Balaton?szöd lies speech on 26 May 2006, speculation has resurfaced over who could have recorded and leaked the tape that sparked riots, rocked the government and handed the MSZP a massive defeat at the local elections last autumn. This is all the more pertinent because according to press reports the position of the Prime Minister, since elected party chairman earlier this year, is no longer as clear-cut. The press does have a tendency to exaggerate conflicts within the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP). Nevertheless, it is striking that the Socialists rallied behind Gyurcsány last autumn in the face of external attacks, whereas now, in the changed political environment, the key question has become the relationship between the PM and his party.
Viktor Orbán, chairman of the opposition party Fidesz expresses his opinions on the undemocratic conduct of the government, early elections, Fidesz’s economic policy ideas and the far right in Hungary.
Viktor? Victorious. The party? Faithful.The main message of Viktor Orbán’s congress speech was that Fidesz has a new programme, yet the words used by the re-elected party chairman contained few specifics or new elements. Instead, Orbán attempted to consolidate and mark out the framework of the party’s politics in a sweeping synthesis of its endeavours since 2002. For Orbán, the main question now is whether, after the party chairman elections, he can convince his own party that Fidesz actually has a programme, i.e. that he is a leader with a vision and concrete ideas, who is capable not only of lambasting the left, but who could also run the country.