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Selection of remarks made during the Hungarian opposition’s primary debate

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hungary – On Sunday, 12 September, the ATV television channel organised a debate between the five candidates running in the opposition’s primary. The first and second rounds of the opposition coalition’s primary will be held in late September and early October. For almost two hours, the competing candidates made numerous statements against the Fidesz-KDNP majority government and announced the main themes of what they presented as their political agenda.

The Telex website, an outlet that calls itself independent and is never soft on Viktor Orbán’s government, has published a summary of the debate’s most important moments. No comment will be added to these remarks, which were made freely on a channel critical of the government. In judging them, we leave it to the readers to take into account the principles that have been invoked as criticisms of the Hungarian government for more than ten years: separation of powers, independence of the judiciary, the right to a fair trial, the presumption of innocence, rule of law, political pluralism, freedom of the press and media, and so on.

Péter Jakab (Jobbik)

“In the first week, we will have to repeal all the laws that have allowed the construction of a party-state […] and dismiss the leaders of the party-state, except for one, the Chief Prosecutor Péter Polt. As for him, we will have to put him in jail.”

“In my opinion, Péter Polt is not a Chief Prosecutor, but a common criminal who has helped in the plundering of this nation.”

“Today, thieves are legalizing theft. This theft is not theft in their eyes, but fair competition or getting tailor-made government contracts. ”

Péter Márki-Zay (MMM – Everybody’s Hungary Movement)

“It is important to improve our Euro-Atlantic commitment. Hungary must join the European Prosecutor’s Office as soon as possible. Terrorists and criminals under international arrest warrants who have found refuge in Hungary thanks to Fidesz must be brought to justice.”

“I think we need to get the money back from the thieves through legal proceedings.”

Gergely Karácsony (Párbeszéd – Dialogue; MSZP – Hungarian Socialist Party; LMP – Politics Can Be Different)

“I will order the tax authorities to close without delay the bank accounts of all those who have enriched themselves with public money in recent years, whether they are members of Viktor Orbán’s family, his friends, or his business partners.”

“The most important thing for this regime is not the law. As we often say, Hungary is not governed by the rule of law. For this regime, the most important thing is public money, namely its permanent misappropriation. If we want to dismantle this regime and get rid of its clientele, we have to close the floodgates of money.”

András Fekete-Győr (Momentum)

“We will open the doors of Parliament to independent journalists and the international press, because we are tired of the misleading and hate-mongering propaganda that is spread all over Hungary.”

“I mentioned the name of Lőrinc Mészáros [a man close to Viktor Orbán and the country’s richest person, Ed.]. I called him a criminal, he sued me, and the court agreed with me, saying that I had the right to call him a criminal.”

Klára Dobrev (Democratic Coalition)

“It must be said openly that the current Fundamental Law is unconstitutional, because it serves the interests of only one party, Fidesz. If we don’t say that, then we can’t govern.”

“It is likely that these laws which were passed by a two-thirds majority (concerning the Fudan University campus in Hungary, the Budapest-Belgrade railway line, and the Paks II nuclear reactor) were passed legally, but their content is a betrayal of the nation. So my voice will not falter in Beijing or Moscow when it comes to terminating these contracts.”