Hungary's Socialists: better luck with new boss?

The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) has elected Bertalan Tóth as its new chairman. The party, which ruled the country until Orbán's election victory in 2010, has been in decline for years, securing just 11.9 percent of the vote in the last parliamentary elections this April. Hungary's press asks whether the party can reverse this trend with its new leader.

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Népszava (HU) /

A chairman with ambitious plans

The new chairman wants to reposition the MSZP, writes Népszava, which has close links to the party:

“Tóth hopes that the MSZP can renew its ties with unions and civil society organisations. And to make sure that his words don't end up being empty phrases he wants to create round tables, 'small circles of freedom', that are open to all. Because the path to replacing the Orbán government does not lead through parliament, according to Tóth. Instead he believes that Orbán's 'system of national cooperation' can only be toppled by an alliance of parties and civil society organisations. The new leader of the MSZP wants a party that protects people from the powers that be, helps the needy and relentlessly condemns the Orbán regime.”

Magyar Idők (HU) /

Socialists have no answer to Orbán

No matter who leads the party the Hungarian Socialists won't achieve their goals, writes Magyar Idök, quoting political scientist Béla Galló:

“Galló writes that the Socialist Party has long fulfilled the historical role it played in representing the interests of the nomenclature of the Kádár regime during the transformation of the financial situation [as a consequence of the political transition in 1989]. In the meantime, however, these interest groups have turned their backs on the MSZP. According to the experts, Hungary could certainly use a leftist policy worth the name. Because it's difficult to deny: there are three million poor in our country, and they fall under the joint responsibility of the ruling elites. But simply repeating 'Orbán's to blame' leads nowhere and could even make the neglected poor more inclined to vote for Fidesz.”