Instead of accepting the olive branch, Fidesz has a go at Eger’s new mayor

Fidesz finds it hard to get over their loss in Eger’s local elections. Although the newly-elected mayor offered peace and cooperation to pro-government council members, Fidesz’ local faction leader Sándor Oroján had a go at Ádám Mirkóczki and the national opposition in general.

Eger’s newly elected council has held its inaugural session. As it was reported earlier, Unity for the City candidate Ádám Mirkóczki won the mayoral race against incumbent László Habis who had been Eger’s leader for 13 years. Unity has obtained the majority in the council as well. In his inaugural speech, Mr Mirkóczki explained that local politics had just gotten over an extremely difficult period because the skirmishes between politicians had polarized the population.

“We ran three campaigns and held three elections in the past 18 months, so we all had our share of the local political skirmishes. We inflicted wounds on each other over the past one and a half years. What we need to do now is to jointly try and heal these wounds and raise the quality of political struggles to a whole new level,” Mr Mirkóczki suggested. According to the town’s new leader, the national political atmosphere makes many people expect a sort of “political massacre” in Eger, but he wants to avoid it.

“We are not going to blackmail financially vulnerable people to toe our line,” the mayor declared. According to Mr Mirkóczki, certain acts of the political parties have caused quite enough harm, something he’s very much aware of. He added that one of his first actions as mayor would be to do a due diligence of the town’s existing contracts to see the actual financial status and make sure there are no “political landmines” left.

As another matter on the agenda, he mentioned that the publicly funded local media outlets were going to be transformed and laid on new foundations which would have nothing to do with political interests. The goal is to provide objective, balanced and reliable information to the citizens. “When I look around, I don’t see winners and losers. I see elected officials who have the right to make their mark on Eger’s daily life in the next five years. I want us to turn to each other with the due humility and self-restraint. Let us seek nothing but what is best for the people of Eger,” Mr Mirkóczki concluded his speech. However, local Fidesz faction leader Sándor Oroján reacted quite differently to the new mayor’s remarks. The councilman had gained a certain reputation on account of a leaked voice recording, in which he said “if you are a politician and our opponent in politics, in the political arena, we are not going to talk with you, we’re not going to try to convince you. We’re going to defeat you. End of story!”

After all that, it comes as no surprise that he rejected the opposition’s olive branch and had a go at the new mayor at once. Referring to the dismissal of three staff members from the city’s administration, Mr Oroján said there was a political massacre going on but he could not show any evidence to support his claim. In his reaction, Mr Mirkóczki stated that nobody’s employment had been terminated, nobody had been fired. All that happened was that some staff members expressed their wish to leave by mutual agreement but even these papers had not been signed yet, he noted.

Mr Oroján also criticized the town’s leadership for setting up temporary committees instead of permanent ones but Mr Mirkóczki explained he was planning to establish new committees and dissolve some of the existing ones. The region’s Fidesz-delegated MP Zsolt Nyitrai was not much more elegant, either. According to Mr Nyitrai, the city will be run by a Jobbik mayor who is supported by such entities as the Socialists, Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition, Politics Can Be Different and Momentum. Mr Mirkóczki responded that the representatives of Unity for the City won the majority of the votes in Eger, and the association was supported by many groups, including the parties mentioned by Mr Nyitrai. He added that the representatives of Unity for the City wish to rise above partisanship and lead Eger in line with the interests of the local community. Mr Nyitrai promised that Fidesz’ Eger group was not going to be like the national opposition, “which says the worse for the country, the better for us.” However, his pledge was somewhat refuted by the fact that Fidesz’ Eger faction did not support any of the motions in the inaugural session.

After the meeting, Mr Mirkóczki said: “I never thought they would start to attack us with blatant lies in a ceremonial inaugural session. I put it down to their post-election shock. Eger’s Fidesz-Christian Democrat faction has been unable to process the fact that the city voted for someone else.” According to Mr Mirkóczki, the local Fidesz group has not been able to adapt to the new situation where they are now in opposition, after 13 years at the helm.


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