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Orbán rejects Kósa’s grand coalition proposal

Lajos Kósa, mayor of Debrecen and Fidesz vice-president, indirectly raised the possibility of a grand coalition as a way of leading Hungary out of its crisis in his 23 October speech.

On Monday, Viktor Orbán rejected the proposal in an interview with Hír TV, saying any government would need a clear mandate from the voters. Orbán said there was an ongoing debate within and around Fidesz concerning the best way for the country to get out of its “rut”, and various different views were being heard. One was Lajos Kósa’s idea, but Orbán did not agree with it, he said.

“The country is in a deep crisis, and only fundamental social and economic changes can get it out of the crisis. This can only be achieved with a clear mandate from the voters,” Orbán said. He said even a change in Prime Minister would not be enough to convince his party to enter into a coalition with the current government. In his speech in Debrecen a week ago, Lajos Kósa called for unity, mentioning Germany’s grand coalition as an example to be followed.

The coalition, he said, had “forced together” Germany’s intellectuals and the press. Politicians, he said, were only rarely able to come together in the same way. Hungary needed the kind of broad unity that would have constitutional force, he said. Without such unity, it would be impossible to resolve Hungary’s crisis, said the vice-president of Fidesz. He said the government would be brought down not by demonstrations and protests. Nobody had the right to commit acts of violence or draw false comparisons with the Pest Lads of 1956, even if both political camps had lost their legitimacy by building on lies and bankrupting the country.

Kósa said the country needed to prepare for the post-Gyurcsány era. Kósa’s speech was remarked upon by Germany’s liberal Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which profiled the mayor of Debrecen, describing him as the “secret leader” of Hungary’s opposition. “Such moderate voices are a new phenomenon in a country where mutual hatred characterizes the relationship between opposing political camps, where, 19 years after the turn to democracy, there is little in the way of solidarity between democrats.” (Read more at HVG)