The mayor of the Hungarian capital Budapest wants to be the prime minister of the opposition in the upcoming elections.
Six parties want to work closely together to defeat Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, which has been in power for more than a decade.
Mayor Gergely Karácsony already won against a Fidesz candidate in the local elections in the capital in 2019. Even then, the opposition worked together. Karácsony, who himself is a member of a small green party, sees that as a blueprint for defeating Orbán in 2022.
The nationalist Orbán and his party have won national elections three times since 2010. The prime minister owes his firm grip on power, among other things, to the divisions within the opposition. He is trying to close ranks and has announced that it will hold primaries for the first time this year.
The six opposition parties want to put forward a joint candidate in all constituencies to increase their chances of winning. The primaries are designed to choose those candidates and decide who can become prime minister if the opposition later wins the national elections.
Mayor Karácsony announced his candidacy in a video on Facebook. “I made this decision because I fear my country is in grave danger,” said the 45-year-old driver. He spoke of growing divisions in society and said he wanted to unite the country again.
The opposition still has some catching up to do. According to a recent poll, the opposition bloc can count on the favor of 36 percent of voters. The ruling Fidesz party would get 40 percent of the vote if elections were held now.