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Hungary: Socialists, liberals support Bajnai

The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP) and the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz) have supported current National Development and Economy Minister Gordon Bajnai’s candidacy to replace Ferenc Gyurcsány as prime minister of Hungary via a parliamentary vote of constructive no-confidence.

A total of 93% of MSZP representatives voted to support Bajnai’s candidacy for prime minister at the party’s congress on Sunday, while SzDSz representatives, convening later on Sunday, adopted a proposal by a vote of 62 to 21 to authorize the party’s executive body to support Bajnai’s appointment to succeed Gyurcsány.

The MSZP congress elected with a overwhelming majority head of parliamentary group Ildikó Lendvai to replace Ferenc Gyurcsány as party chairman.

The MSzP is expected to submit a motion on Monday calling for parliament to hold a vote of constructive no-confidence vis-a-vis Gyurcsány government on April 14. The MSzP and SzDSz together command the necessary parliamentary majority to adopt such a motion.

The SzDSz has said it will provide a Bajnai-led government with outside support on some conditions, including changes on four or five ministerial positions. SzDSz ruled out, however, the renewal of a coalition which broke a year ago.

Main opposition party Fidesz said that it continues to call for early elections.

During the MSZP’s Sunday congress, Bajnai said “I won’t play with words. There will be economic austerity measures.” “It is for this reason that I express the truth in its barest and most forbidding form: Hungarians must choose between losing their jobs or temporarily renouncing several percentage points of their income,” Bajnai added.

Regular national elections are scheduled to be held in Hungary next spring. (MTI-Econews)