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Left-wing at odds again over joint PM choice

Parliament

After opposition political parties on the left decided Monday to reopen cooperation talks ahead of the 2014 general elections, it appears that the major issue of debate will be the joint candidate for prime minister who would have to take on the incumbent Viktor Orbán.

Gordon Bajnai and Ferenc Gyurcsány of the Democratic Coalition (DK) party both reportedly support economist Péter Róna for the job, who has had professional ties to the left without actual holding office, but who has also been critical of failures in socialist governance.

According to local news outlet hvg.hu, Róna has discussed the possibility with unnamed party figures, but no formal decisions have been made.

Bajnai's E14-PM also put forth former National Bank of Hungary (MNB) president György Surányi as a potential joint PM candidate.

Nevertheless, MSzP party chairman Attila Mesterházy reportedly insists he should lead the opposition party list as head of the biggest political force in the bloc.

The one scenario that MSzP politicians speaking to press anonymous agreed must never be repeated is the political “casting” which occurred in 2009 after the resignation of Gyurcsány as prime minister. At the time, the search for an outside face to head off a caretaker government dragged on for weeks with a multitude of candidates and the process badly hurt the socialists’ approval ratings.

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