The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has announced the nomination of TV presenter Olga Kálmán as a candidate for mayor of Budapest, only a week after DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány, the former prime minister, pledged support for Gergely Karácsony, reported news portal Index.hu.
Kálmán is known mostly as the long-time presenter of political talk show "Egyenes Beszéd" (Straight Talk) on private TV channel ATV.
The announcement was made by Klára Dobrev, the wife of Gyurcsány, who led the list of DKʼs MEP candidates in European parliamentary elections last month.
"We need a mayoral candidate who fights against [Prime Minister Viktor] Orbánʼs system and [incumbent Budapest Mayor István] Tarlós toughly and without compromise," she said.
Dobrev added that DK will support the winner of the pre-election process among the opposition, and hopes that Kálmán will prevail. Regarding pulling support for Karácsony, she said that the situation changed after Momentum last week nominated its own candidate, Gábor Kerpel-Fronius.
Karácsony expressed his opinion in a Facebook live video, saying "I was aware that DK will have a candidate at the pre-election, but I thought it would be me. Cʼest la vie."
Kálmán herself said she is running as an independent, but with the support of DK, and that she had decided to run at Dobrevʼs request.
"Can you imagine me negotiating with Viktor Orbán face-to-face?" she asked. "I can imagine. And I will not only give him nods."
Kálmán, Karácsony, and Kerpel-Fronius will participate in a debate next Friday. Róbert Puzsér - formerly supported by both the green LMP and right-wing Jobbik - has declined to take part in the pre-election, and will thus not be present.