Hungarian opposition leader calls for early elections

History

Viktor Orbán, chairman of Hungary's main opposition party Fidesz, reiterated his call for early elections at a party meeting.

Hungary could hardly survive the changes in global economy unless there is a political turn, Orbán said.

He argued that the prices of energy, raw materials and food would rise drastically in Hungary and the country could not cope with these problems as long as it had an “incompetent minority government.”

Orbán said if Hungary held parliamentary elections this weekend and Fidesz won, it would reduce taxes from July 1 and start creating new jobs immediately.

Orbán drew a picture of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian families going bankrupt, losing jobs, being unable to pay utilities and no longer enjoying benefits from a deteriorating health and education system under the rule of the Socialist Party.

István Nyakó, spokesman for the ruling Socialist Party, responded to his remarks by saying that Orbán was just “playing the same record again as we have been hearing for half a year now.”

Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány's coalition government with the Alliance of Free Democrats broken in April after the later quit the coalition, blaming Gyurcsány for abandoning the program of economic reforms aimed at improving Hungary's ailing economy.

Since then, the Socialists have maintained a minority government with 190 lawmakers in the 386-seat parliament.

Gyurcsány said on Tuesday that the minority Socialist government would not seek talks with its former coalition partner and could rule alone until elections in 2010.

“We're open to cooperating with the Free Democrats but as they were the ones leaving the coalition, it's up to them to find a new direction,” Gyurcsány said. (Xinhua)

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