Hungarian opposition unites, for now

The liberal Gergely Karácsony will be the Hungarian opposition’s candidate for mayor of Budapest in October’s local election. Mr Karácsony won almost 50 per cent of the vote in a primary election.

“Usually an election has one winner only, but I think this one has many,” Mr Karácsony, who currently serves as mayor of Budapest’s XIV district, said in his victory speech, pointing to the successful cooperation of all major opposition parties in Budapest, despite their political differences.

Former TV host Olga Kálmán, who was the candidate of the left-liberal Democratic Coalition (DK) party came in second with 36.8 per cent while the third contender, Gábor Kerpel-Fronius from the liberal Momentum party got 14.3 per cent.

Both Ms Kálmán and Mr Kerpel-Fronius conceded to the winner and promised to support his candidacy against incumbent Budapest mayor István Tarlós, of the ruling Fidesz party.

The primaries, an attempt to unite Hungary’s fragmented opposition, were the first to ever be held in the country.

Former TV host and conservative pundit Róbert Puzsér may yet split the opposition vote, however. He pulled out of the primaries and has announced his own candidacy for the October election.