Hungary’s Opposition Unites in a Bid to Defeat Orban

Hungary’s Opposition Unites in a Bid to Defeat Orban
Conservative independent candidate Peter Marki-Zay celebrates his victory in the opposition primary race, in Budapest, Hungary, Oct. 17, 2021 (AP photo by Laszlo Balogh).

In 2018, opposition candidate Peter Marki-Zay’s surprise victory in a mayoral by-election in the small town of Hodmezovasarhely pushed Hungary’s opposition into a half-hearted bid to cooperate in that year’s parliamentary vote. However, the effort never got off the ground, leaving Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party to stroll to yet another two-thirds supermajority.

Now, with months to go before the next elections, a diverse slate of six opposition parties insist that this time, they’re determined to unite in a bid to finally defeat Orban’s illiberal regime, which has ruled the country since 2010. Last month, the United Opposition selected the 49-year-old Marki-Zay to lead the charge in the polls, which are due to be held in April or May of 2022.

The effort to maintain an alliance among parties that range from far-right-turned conservative and neoliberal to green and ex-communist is clearly ambitious. But Orban’s grip on power has become so strong that the opposition is left with little choice. 

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