Opposition gears up for second round of search for Orbán’s opponent

It is almost certain that one of them will step back to prevent Dobrev from winning. [EPA-EFE/Balazs Mohai]

Budapest’s green mayor Gergely Karácsony and independent Hódmezővásárhely mayor Péter Márki-Zay, two of the three prime ministerial candidates to move on to the next round of opposition’s primaries, have agreed to continue competing as allies. However, there is still a dispute between them as to which of them would have a better chance of defeating Klára Dobrev, who received most votes during last week’s voting, the first of a two-step process that will yield PM Viktor Orbán’s challenger at the 2022 parliamentary elections.

Capital mayor Karácsony managed to win only in 15 constituencies, eleven of which were in Budapest and two more in surrounding Pest county, Telex reported.

Márki-Zay set three conditions for withdrawing from the election: introducing the Euro as soon as possible, calling the Orbán government to account, and declaring the invalidity of Hungary’s Fundamental Law.

Márki-Zay argues that he would have a better chance against Dobrev because of the support of conservative and liberal voters, while Karácsony says his withdrawal would favour Dobrev. It is almost certain that one of them will step back to prevent Dobrev from winning, as most in the opposition coalition agree that she would not be able to defeat Viktor Orbán in the 2022 elections.

Karácsony received 168,396 votes in the first round, about 45,000 fewer than Dobrev, while Márki-Zay was about the same number of votes behind the Budapest mayor. In percentage terms, the final result of the race for prime minister was 34.8% for Dobrev, 27.2% for Karácsony and 20.4% for Márki-Zay.

According to the latest poll by the Publicus Institute, Gergely Karácsony has a better chance of running against Klára Dobrev than Péter Márki-Zay.

In a survey of 3,500 respondents that participated in the first round of primaries results suggested if Karácsony were the candidate for prime minister in the second round and Márki-Zay the deputy prime minister, 48.4% of respondents would vote for the alliance of Karácsony and Márki-Zay, while 40.3% would vote for Klára Dobrev.

The second round of the primaries will run from 10 October to 16 October, for seven days.

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