Hungary’s Socialists Mulling Candidates For Leadership

  • 2 Jun 2014 9:00 AM
Hungary’s Socialists Mulling Candidates For Leadership
Several names have emerged as possible candidates to succeed Attila Mesterházy as the leader of the opposition Socialist Party. Mesterházy resigned from the post on Thursday and said he would stay away from party elections. He said he would assume full responsibility for his party’s crushing defeats in the general and EP elections.

 The party’s Budapest council has suggested holding a congress in June to elect the new party leader and a Budapest party chief, György Alexa, deputy chair for the Budapest organisation, said.

The council does not support that the entire Socialist presidium should resign, in the interest of an early resolution of the situation, Alexa said. He added that the new Socialist group leader could be selected after the election of the party leader. Alexa also said that the Socialist Party’s reform requires renewal of its entire board of officials, right after the municipal elections.

Csaba Horváth, a member of the recently resigned party leadership, said on Friday that names that have come up include László Botka, head of the steering board and the only Socialist city mayor, István Hiller, former party leader and education minister, József Tóbiás, deputy head of the parliamentary group, and István Ujhelyi, the party’s newly-elected MEP.

Horváth gave warning, however, that the Socialists must go beyond replacing their leader and find a way to move their politics closer to the people. Tibor Szanyi, a member of the party presidium, said that he thought there was time enough to re-elect a leader and the party should take a closer look at its current situation first.


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