Finish Line - Report


Finish Line - Report

Republikon Intézet

The Republikon Institute organized a conference in January 2022, the main topic was to map the circumstances in Hungary before the 2022 elections. Participants of the conference Andrea Virág („Republikon Intézet”), Róbert László (Political Capital), Ágoston Sámuel Mráz („Nézőpont Csoport”) and Tibor Závecz (Závecz Research). The conversation was moderated by Gábor Horn („Republikon Alapítvány”).

From Andrea Virág point of view, the opposition was able to answer the key questions and as she see it is a huge improvement over the 2018 election. She was under the impression that controlling and investigating in connection with election provides an interesting narrative for the public discourse where campaigns will have the mainrole. Regarding the dangers of election she highlited Fidesz has the upper hand, but the oppisition has the advantage of knowing the circumstances and contexts. This is important because it gives the opportunity to preparing. At the same time, she also focused on thematizing the issue of cheating, in her view it can be less motivating about the attitudes of voters. As far as the ruling party’s campaign the main aim is to keep the polling station together. Futhermore, she listed several of Fidesz’s intensions. On the one hand, Fidesz would like to cause gaps within opposition coalition. On the other hand, discouranging the insecure is also a goal. According to her, the campaing is basically based on the opposition of Ferenc Gyurcsány and Viktor Orbán. In the case of the opposition campaing, she said omission of the epidemic management was a fault. Futher, the opposition campaing’s main direction is presentation of the social crisis, which it parellels with corruption swinging around the goverment.

Róbert László started by the momentum of the pre-election slowed down, but he can see the chance to be dynamic again. He definitely thinks that everyone’s interest to have an effective election investigation, thus he doesn’t see the presence of the OSCE as a problem. Róbert criticized the legalization of the estabilishment of a fictitious address, arguing that vote tourism could easily lead to the manipulation of results. During the discussing about the opposition campaign he mentioned a problem because Péter Márki-Zay doesn’t often share the views of opposition coalition. He said it might be sensible to rethink the strategy, so develop a narrative what resolves the post-election issues and guarantees the effectiveness of the system. In connection with campaign of Fidesz Róbert asked Ágoston Samuel Mráz about the organization of the parlamentary election and the referendum on the same day could have a mobilizing effect.

Ágoston Samuel Mráz fully agreed with the other participants on the election results are unforeseeable, and criticized the lack of unity in the opposition. He expects to have dynamics in the balace of power, at the same time, he emphasized their own research results which cleary indicate the success of Fidesz. Futhermore, Ágoston believed that in this bipolar party system participants would be characterized by discipline. He took a supportive stance on the issue of election investigation, however he highlighted that this should be done by an institution that could conduct a credible and a fair investigation. He is hoping that the election result won’t lead to agressive actions. Reflecting on the question by Laszló Róbert he said that one of the aim of Fidesz is maximize the number of voters, and there are citizens who can be mobilized for referendum issues – including some left-wing voters. It seems to Ágoston that the presidential election will not become a campaign topic, and also confirmed the high degree of personaltization. Ágoston was reticent about the opposition’s campaign, but he drew attention the fact that goverment’s ability to defend itself against corruption attacks with opposition cases.

In Tibor Závecz opinion in the case of 2022 election the main question is: will „Egységben Magyarországért” be able to defeat Fidesz-KDNP? He’d certainly agree that a sharpened struggle could be expected, but he doesn’t dare to declare the victory of the coalition. As far as he can judge, the current system isn’t appropriate for ensuring equal opportunities for parties, because Fidesz-KDNP has more resources than the others. He emphasized that an election can work satisfactorily if it’s controllable in all aspects. For this reason, he thinks election investigation is necessary. Tibor explained the goverment’s campaign is determined by Viktor Orbán, and it based on two other ideas. Ont he one hand, he highlighted the introduction of welfare measures, where Fidesz-KDNP makes promises to the most diverse segments of society. On the other hand, he also can see a lot of measures to strengthen identity, and in his view, the referendum is also meant to serve that. He would like to experience the unity of the opposition during the campaign, for example in their action. As Tibor see, it would be certainly be advisable to starting campaiging locally as well, so he would encouraged the opposition a close relationship with the voters. Overall, he anticipates radical and strong-toned campaigns.



Co-founded by the Europe for Citizens Programme
of the Europen Union