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Tarlós, Karácsony to debate, as Budapest mayoral race heats up

Incumbent Budapest Mayor István Tarlós has agreed to debate his main opposition challenger Gergely Karácsony, as polls indicate a reasonably tight race with a little more than a month to go until municipal elections all over the country.

Help from above? - Tarlós pictured at an earlier press conference

Tarlós, who is supported by the governing Fidesz-KDNP coalition, said during a press conference on Tuesday that he would debate Karácsony, the joint candidate of the opposition parties, according to a report by news portal Index.hu.

During the event, he also floated the idea of closing down nine metro stations during the night to prevent homeless people from sleeping there. He added that if he was elected for another term, a new piece of legislation regarding the situation of the homeless in the capital would be introduced in the first quarter of 2020.

News site 444.hu says that Tarlós can expect 49% of the votes in October, while Karácsony stands at 45%, citing a poll by Závecz Research. According to the poll, independent candidate Róbert Puzsér would achieve 4% of votes, while the support of communist candidate Gyula Thürmer is measured at just 1%, similarly to media personality and former footballer Krisztián Berki.

According to a different poll published earlier by Nézőpont, Tarlós would get 51% of the vote, while Karácsony stands at 43%. The poll expects Puzsér to receive 6% of the votes.