The days leading up to the third prime ministerial debate were marked by an escalating conflict, with Klára Dobrev and Péter Márki-Zay fighting a communication battle on Facebook and through press conferences and announcements.
Candidates had a pre-determined time frame in the live vitamin show, this time with civil society and advocacy organizations asking policy questions to aspirants. The moderator was Balázs Rábai, the questioning organizations:
- Teachers’ Union
- Hungarian Chamber of Health Professionals
- Three Princes, Three Princesses Movement
- Society for Freedoms
- Habitat for Humanity
The first topic right away was the tension between the candidates. Péter Márki-Zay had previously spoken about the DK blackmailing some politicians to support Klára Dobrev. Gergely Karácsony came in by saying that Ferenc Gyurcsány used to put pressure on him by text message. DK stated: these allegations are false.
Péter Márki-Zay betrayed as an opening, Judit Popovics was one of the people involved, who – according to Péter Márki-Zay – was first offered the position of state secretary, later blackmailed, and finally made it impossible to start in the Tatabánya constituency. Judit Popovics did this while still in the discussion, in a Facebook post confirmed.
According to Klára Dobrev, Péter Márki-Zay is not telling the truth, and he also told his discussion partner that he did not consider him suitable for the position of prime minister. The DK aspirant also mentioned professional and moral concerns about the candidate for the Everyone Hungary Movement.
Péter Márki-Zay considers Klára Dobrev a suitable candidate, but she sees that she has the least chance of defeating Viktor Orbán. The mayor of Hódmezővásárhely remarked that Klára Dobrev should also vote for her. Dobrev stressed he was not happy that personalization had become a pre-election, people had lost a little hope, but now he wanted to give it back to them.
Péter Márki-Zay also talked about the fact that an army of trolls attacked him and his family, he also stated that Fidesz had joined the campaign alongside Klára Dobrev. According to the DK candidate, there is a problem with Péter Márki-Zay’s perception of reality and he started in the wrong direction in the campaign.
The discussion also covered policy issues, as well as civil and interest organizations – Greenpeace, the Teachers’ Union, the Hungarian Chamber of Health Professionals, the Three Princes, the Three Princesses Movement, the Society for Freedoms and Habitat for Humanity 1 -1 questions for candidates.
Klára Dobrev and Péter Márki-Zay were also able to express their views on constitutionality, the rule of law, accountability, the introduction of the euro, economic policy, health care, teachers’ salaries, women’s quotas, family policy and green issues. They mostly agreed, they did not take a radically different view. The Democratic Coalition’s prime ministerial candidate has given more concrete answers on policy issues, while the aspirant of the Everyone Hungary Movement has repeatedly stated that he does not want to promise irresponsibly.
That’s how they argued for themselves
In her speech, Klára Dobrev stated that left-wing politics has a present and a future. There have been injustices during right-wing-conservative governance that he believes can only be remedied by left-wing politics. He also stressed that governance also requires the ability to govern, and that it requires a candidate who has the strength, the humility, toward other opposition parties as well. This is essential for successful governance because no one will win alone.
Péter Márki-Zay said at the end of the debate that whoever is the opposition’s joint prime ministerial candidate will implement a program with left-wing, green and liberal elements, and there is no question of a conservative government. He also talked about representing a coalition of the pure, and being able to address the insecure and the Fidesz as well. He stressed that peace and togetherness are needed, it would put an end to the trenching and hatred of thirty years, not to the right, not to the left, only upwards.
The Index reported on the debate minute by minute, you can find it here.
(Cover image: Bodnár Patrícia / Index)