He is ahead in the polls and surprisingly won the election as mayor of Budapest. Now the charismatic politician Gergely Karacsony is daring the next step.
The eco-liberal mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karacsony, could become a challenger to the right-wing national prime minister Viktor Orban in the parliamentary elections of 2022. The 45-year-old announced on Saturday in a message on Twitter that he would face a primary that an alliance of six opposition parties intends to hold in September for the free choice of a joint top candidate. “I have announced my candidacy for the office of Hungarian Prime Minister. Enough of favoritism and despotism, our country needs a fresh start. One that works for the 99% and not the privileged 1%.”
He decided to run because he felt “that my home country is in great need,” said Karacsony. According to surveys, he is the most popular opposition politician in Hungary. He belongs to the presidium of the small party PM (Parbeszéd Magyarorszugt – Dialogue for Hungary).
The fact that Karacsony made the leap to the top of the Budapest City Hall, which has long been run by the ruling Fidesz party, was already a sign of hope for a change of power in Hungary at the time. His election victory was also attributed to the fact that Hungary’s hitherto fragmented opposition to Fidesz was united for the first time.
Orban has ruled since 2010, almost continuously with a two-thirds majority from Fidesz and its junior partner KDNP (Christian Democrats). Critics accuse Orban of dismantling democracy, restrictive media and university policies and favoritism.