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Opposition says government paid rioters in Budapest

Hungary's largest opposition party Fidesz said Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s government paid rioters who clashed with police in Budapest last month in order to win municipal elections October 1. „This was a premeditated scenario, Russian roulette, a crazy gamble that didn't pay off for Ferenc Gyurcsány,” Zoltán Pokorni, a Fidesz deputy chairman, said on public television today. „They thought that this would help them politically. They wanted to shift attention away” from austerity measures. At municipal elections October 1, Fidesz took Gyurcsány’s Socialist Party the majority in 15 of 19 county assemblies but mayoral posts in only 9 of the 22 largest cities.

Opposition leader Viktor Orbán yesterday urged the Socialists to hold a vote of no-confidence against Gyurcsány. The prime minister yesterday asked parliament for a vote of confidence October 6. Governing parties tell Fidesz to prepare the non-confidence vote themselves, if they consider it necessary, name their new PM, and show their governing program. Without a proposal for the new PM’s person, and without a clear program to lead Hungary out of this current situation, analysts cannot see any constitutional solutions to the situation. Fidesz did not show any proposals leading the country out of its present financial and political situation, they only threatened the country with continuing violence and riots unless the PM leaves.

Violent protests began September 18 after media got hold of a tape leaked from a closed Socialist meeting, in which Gyurcsány admitted to lying about the state of the economy to win elections in April. And he criticized the political elite of lying about everything in the past 16 years to remain in power. The tape was leaked by the government as part of a strategy that included rioting, Pokorni said. (Bloomberg, info rádió)