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Fidesz agrees to postpone Saturday rally

Hungary's biggest opposition party Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Party on Thursday said it had postponed its national rally, originally planned for September 23, until after the local elections on October 1.

The decision was taken after appeals were made to call off the rally in light of anti-government demonstrations that have turned violent over the past three days. On Wednesday, Fidesz asked representatives of the civil security service as well as the heads of the Budapest Police, the Budapest Civil Protection Directorate and the National Ambulance Service and, if necessary, the national security services, to form a working group in order to ensure security at the rally.
Minister in charge of the Prime Minister's Office György Szilvássy said the aforementioned groups had been asked to cooperate with Fidesz on the matter, but he saw no possibility of the Prime Minister's Office assisting with coordinating preparations for a rally by the opposition.
Also on Wednesday, President László Sólyom, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and House Speaker Katalin Szili made an appeal to the organizers of any demonstrations in the coming days to consider whether they could ensure that participants would not break the law.
On Wednesday evening, Minister of Justice and Law Enforcement József Petrétei had made an appeal in a letter to Orbán to carefully consider the responsibility of the organizers of the rally. In separate statements on Wednesday, the government, Budapest mayor Gábor Demszky and the head of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP) all asked Orbán to call off the weekend rally.