Eight Parties Qualify for EP Elections in Hungary
Written by Dániel Antal
Twenty-one political parties have intended to run for the Hungarian MEP seats, eight parties have qualified with collecting 20 thousand signed recommendations from the electorate. The qualification for the EP elections is easier than for the national elections. The failed parties are failed politicians groups or people that the vast majority treats as lunatics.
Hungary has 3 + 2 parliamentary parties, the Socialists, Fidesz (EPP) and Free Democrats (Alde) plus the Christian Democrats who are running on the Fidesz party list and the Hungarian Democratic Forum, a small EPP member that has torn itself over its strange EP list and its parliamentary group ceased to exist by the start of the campaign.
The Socialists, after seven years of unpopular governing are sure to loose many seats and Fidesz is the clear favorite of this election. The Free Democrats and the Democratic Forum are fighting for survival.
The new political parties are indeed serious to some degree. The Hungarian Communist Workers Party is the successor of the Hungarian Soviet-satellite party, and it has always managed to run in the election since 1990 although it has never made it into the parliament. The party is a strange mix of very senior apparatchiks of the old regime and young punks. The LMP (Politics Can Be Different) is a new alternative/greenish party. Jobbik is a youthful far-right nationalist party that may take the 5% threshold with uniting all the anti-EU vote with racism, nationalism as the old Hungarian Justice and Life Party has failed to qualify. The MCF Roma Unity list is a coalition of Gypsy organizations, and as tension between the majority and the Gypsy minority is reaching a historic peak in 2009, this time they might form a stronger political force.
Although I never publish my political views, and I had worked as a civil servant with all parliamentary parties, I am very happy to see the Gypsy people forming an ever stronger political unity. I think that an organized, political dialogue is necessary all over Central Europe between the main ethnic groups and Gypsy minorities.