Second round of voting in Hungarian opposition primary to begin

Week-long voting in the second round of Hungary’s primary runoff election for opposition prime ministerial and parliamentary constituency candidates will

Photo: Visegrad Post

Week-long voting in the second round of Hungary’s primary runoff election for opposition prime ministerial and parliamentary constituency candidates will begin today.

The centre-left Democratic Coalition’s prime ministerial candidate, Klara Dobrev—who won the first-round of voting held in mid-September—is running against Independent Peter Marki-Zay. The third candidate, Gergely Karacsony of the Greens, withdrew his candidacy in favour of Marki-Zay only last week. The winner will be the standard-bearer for a broad opposition coalition comprising leftist, centrist and nationalist parties challenging incumbent Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his nationalist Fidesz party in next year’s general elections.

Marki-Zay is likely to win if Karacsony’s voters swing in behind him. Dobrev’s lead will be weakened by Karacsony’s late support for Marki-Zay. Current polls show that although a surge in recent weeks favours Dobrev, Karacsony still commands huge support and he is urging his supporters to vote for Marki-Zay.

Expect Marki-Zay’s rural support to seriously challenge Fidesz’s stronghold in the countryside should he defeat Dobrev. The united opposition are polling neck and neck with Fidesz and, for the first time in over a decade, are in a position to defeat Orban in next year’s general election.

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