21.2 C
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Pro-peace right, pro-war left

By: Mariann Őry

The last week of the election campaign in Hungary is not looking good for the left-wing opposition. According to a recent poll by the Társadalomkutató institute, ruling Fidesz-KDNP’s list would garner 52 percent of the votes, against 41 percent for the united left. The gap between the two blocks grew from five percent in November, the pollster added. Társadalomkutató also found out that while the voters of the ruling parties are committed, 44 percent of the opposition voters are protest voters.

Nézőpont came up with similar results. According to the institute, 49 percent of the politically active voters would support Fidesz-KDNP and 41 percent the left-wing opposition. The gap has not narrowed. Only four percent of Fidesz supporters are undecided, but this ratio was as high as 41 percent on the other side. According to Nézőpont, this could be explained by the lack of popularity of Péter Márki-Zay, their joint prime ministerial candidate. Only 56 percent of the left-leaning respondents said they would prefer Márki-Zay to be the next prime minister. Nézőpont pointed out that “the leftist candidate is not powerful enough to maximise votes”.

This hardly comes as a surprise because the left-liberal opposition bloc has no actual vision or programme. Most of their communication is about negating the government’s actions. Whatever the government does, they want something else. This doesn’t give people the impression that they are ready to form a stable government.

The left-liberal bloc didn’t support the government’s measures against the coronavirus epidemic, and they’re no reliable partner in the current situation either.

European governments have different approaches to the war in Ukraine based on their situation – they may or may no agree. Hungary’s government didn’t criticise other European countries for their position or wanted to tell them what to do. The main priority of the Hungarian government is to keep Hungary out of the war. Hungary will not send soldiers or weapons to Ukraine, and neither will weapons be allowed through Hungarian territory on the way to Ukraine. As Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó made it clear after the recent NATO summit: the transit of weapons carried the risk of turning Hungary into a military target, and we refuse to risk Hungarian people’s lives and security.

Prime Minister Viktor  Orbán rejected both requests of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who asked Hungary to vote in support of expanding sanctions against Russia to include energy, with a ban on buying Russian gas and crude oil, and to allow weapons deliveries across its territory.  Stopping crude oil and gas deliveries would mean making Hungarian families pay the costs of war, according to the government. Some 85 percent of Hungarian households use gas for heating and 64 percent of Hungary’s crude oil imports arrive from Russia. Sanctions would mean a drastic increase in utility fees.

This is not about any external actor’s interest, this is about Hungary’s interest.

Hungary helps, too. By last Thursday,  half million refugees had arrived in Hungary and Hungary had sent aid worth 2 billion forints (EUR 5.4m) to Ukraine. The country is performing the greatest humanitarian effort in its history. Zoltán Kovács, the state secretary for international communications pointed out to MSNBC that “not since the second world war, we have never ever witnessed refugees in so great numbers and very unfortunately, as we see, the influx, the flow, the flee of refugees is going to continue”.

Instead of supporting or at least constructively criticising the government’s effors, the left-liberal parties decided to use the war for their own campaign purposes. It’s never clear what they really want because they are not coherent. Some politicians even talked about sending weapons and Hungarian soldiers to Ukraine, spreaded fake news that put Transcarpathian Hungarians at risk, even accused Viktor Orbán of being responsible for the war. Their irresponsible and ruthless behaviour is particularly dangerous in the current situation.

Mariann Őry, head of the foreign desk and Hungarian conservative daily Magyar Hírlap


Latest news

Related news