Index.hu reports about some interesting developments in Hungary. A Hungarian opposition roundtable was formed on February 16th in Budapest, with the participation of Hungarian Communist parties and MSZP. Yes its hard to believe so before going any further I will link my source once again: this index article. The following parties participate in the roundtable, Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party (Magyar Kommunista Munkáspárt), Workers’ Party of Hungary 2006 (Magyarországi Munkáspárt 2006) – which is a group split off from the Communist Workers’ in 2006, Green Left (Zöld Baloldal) a small party with close ties and fluctuation of membership with Munkáspárt 2006, the Hungarian Socialist Party (Magyar Szocialista Párt, MSZP), and the Hungarian Social Democratic Party (Magyar Szociáldemokrata Párt). The largest party present is the Hungarian Socialists by far, the MSZP party still has a sizable presence in the Hungarian Parliament with fourty something MPs. All the other parties who participate have no parliamentary representation, which immediately begs the question what does MSZP hope to achieve here. The fact that the new Gyurcsányist party, DK, was missing seems odd, as they have some independent MPs in Parliament as well, which is more that the others can say. Index reports that DK as well as LMP were only invited after the opposition roundtable was already formed. LMP however stated several times that they reject participation in this opposition roundtable.
MSZP seems to be committing a series of blunders here to decrease its own voterbase and legitimacy. Just yesterday MSZP politicians voted for an EP resolution, shortly after their own party paper described it as one that is against Hungary. Today we learn that they begin close cooperation with Communists that have the Communist title in their own party name which cannot be explained away as “well meaning leftists”. What their strategy is at this point is unclear.
Since MSZMP the ruling Communist party was dissolved, MSZP the legal successor kept its distance from hardline Communists who remained true to the original ideals and wore the Communist name with pride. In 1994 and later during the first Orbán government, the Communists tried to seek close cooperation with MSZP, but they were rejected out of hand. The cooperation at the roundtable ends this longstanding MSZP policy which ensured that the far-left does not gain too much influence within the ranks of the party. MSZP’s decision wasn’t well received within the left, leftist blog Varánusz for example described the Communist – MSZP coopeartion in the opposition roundtable as a “System error”.