Message from the Parliament's stairs: Unions, take a stand!

Since opposition MPs were not allowed to freely exercise their rights as Members of Parliament and register guests for the extraordinary meeting on the slavery act, opposition representatives held their press conference on the main stairs leading to the entrance of the House.

Socialist faction leader Bertalan Tóth called the public’s attention to joining the demonstrations on Saturday, where the trade unions are also going to be present. The Socialist politician asked everybody to participate in the protests. In line with the apparent division of labour among the opposition parties (while Jobbik and Politics Can Be Different representatives delivered their pre-agenda speeches in Parliament, leftist parties primarily used the media to convey their messages by taking a public oath) Tímea Szabó of Dialogue Party repeated the oath to help get the slavery act revoked. She also explained the reason why they went into the Parliament: not to show that things can go on the way they were before the adoption of the law but to elicit some response from pro-government politicians on the treatment of opposition MPs at the public TV headquarters during the protests. Ms Szabó also praised the unified stance of the opposition.

Independent MP Ákos Hadházy said that as long as there was no real public media, independent courts and prosecution, it was pointless talking about real elections or a real Parliament. LMP’s László Lóránt Keresztes called it symbolic that pro-government MPs failed to show up for the debate, suggesting they had completed all their work in December. The party’s co-president emphasized that parties with unbridgeable gaps had decided to act together and explained the reason: there was no way back. Noting that the fight against the slavery act was just beginning, he said loud, strong but non-violent demonstrations were needed.

Jobbik’s Péter Jakab asserted that this was Hungary’s most cowardly government which was afraid to face opposition MPs and hid behind George Soros’ back. As far as Saturday’s demonstrations were concerned, he called on the trade unions to “put their feet down” and finally start a national strike action.

Ferenc Gyurcsány also made a speech: he said it was time for a rebellion. The president of the Democratic Coalition expressed his view that resistance was nothing but defence. In his opinion, people must not only rebel against a particular law but against the entire Orbán regime as well: there was no way to conduct democratic debates under the current circumstances. Independent MP Bernadett Szél said that Speaker László Kövér had banned MPs from registering guests to the meeting so Momentum’s András Fekete-Győr had not been allowed to enter the Parliament – that’s why they held the press conference out in the cold.

The politician considered it as just another sign that Hungary was a pseudo-democracy and the current regime had nothing to do with the rule of law. She also expressed her hope that all Hungarian citizens would soon open their eyes, including Fidesz voters. Finally, András Fekete-Győr identified the primary goal: to get the slavery act revoked in January. He also encouraged everyone to join the demonstrations on Saturday.


Alfahí -