Hungarian Liberal Party

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Hungarian Liberal Party
Magyar Liberális Párt
Leader Gábor Fodor
Founded 27 April 2013
Headquarters 1051 Budapest, Hercegprímás utca 18
Membership 722 (2014)
Ideology Liberalism[1]
Pro-Europeanism
Political position Centre to Centre-right
European affiliation Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe[2]
Colours Deep sky blue
National Assembly
1 / 199
European Parliament
0 / 21
Party flag
Flag of the Hungarian Liberal Party.svg
Website
liberalisok.hu

Hungarian Liberal Party (Hungarian: Magyar Liberális Párt, shortened form Liberals (Liberálisok) or MLP) is a liberal[1] political party in Hungary, formed on 27 April 2013, and led by Gábor Fodor, a former MP and president of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ).[3]

History[edit]

Gábor Fodor announced in January 2013 that he intended to establish a new liberal party in Hungary.[4] He presented his party in April 2013, promising "more liberal, person-centered and patriotic politics". He criticized the state's tutelary policy and emphasized, Hungary was then in forefront of the region, when liberalism and the SZDSZ were strong. Fodor also introduced the party's programme with the title of "Sympathetic liberalism", breaking away from the "intellectual arrogance" of his previous party.[3]

In September 2013, the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) declined to sign an election deal with the Democratic Coalition (DK) and Fodor’s liberal party because both parties presented excessive expectations compared to their social support.[5] According to Fodor, the Liberals were ready to enter into a far-reaching compromise with left-leaning opposition parties in order to defeat Viktor Orbán. But after the Socialists and Together 2014 – the grouping led by former PM Gordon Bajnai – opted to stand apart, the Liberals had no other choice but to set off for the 2014 national election on their own.[6] Fodor attended as a public speaker at the opposition demonstration on the 1956 Revolution National Day, where he urged the establishment of a common democratic opposition list for the 2014 parliamentary election, criticizing agreement between the MSZP and Together 2014 and the exclusion of other opposition parties from the cooperation.[7]

During the interim mayoral election in Fót, held on November 24, Liberals' candidate Nóra Mária Vargha received the 13 percent of the votes and came to the fifth place. According to Fodor, this result showed that liberal voters require an own party, and lack of cooperation of opposition parties is favorable to the ruling party Fidesz.[8] Later a Budapest court decided the annulment of election results because of a violation of campaign silence rules.[9] On 20 December 2013, Századvég's poll for the first time registers support for the Hungarian Liberal Party, which receives 1% of the vote.[10]

On 14 January 2014, the Hungarian Liberal Party joined the electoral alliance of left-wing opposition parties, which formed Unity under the leadership of Socialist party chairman Attila Mesterházy. Fodor run as a MP candidate from the fourth place at the alliance's national list. The party also received two additional places (56th and 58th) on the list.[11] Although the Unity suffered a heavy defeat, nevertheless Fodor became a Member of Parliament again after four years and he did not join any parliamentary group.

On 19 November 2015 the party was admitted into the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.[12]

The Hungarian Liberal Party (MLP) was the only political party to openly campaign in favour of the compulsory quota system and asked its supporters to vote "yes" in the October 2016 migrant quota referendum.[13] The MLP's foreign policy advisor István Szent-Iványi said in August 2016 that the support of "yes" votes "is the only way to stand up for European values, Hungary’s belonging to Europe and European solidarity", criticizing the behaviour of other left-wing parties, which decided to boycott the referendum.[14]

Leadership[edit]

  • Gábor Fodor: chairman
  • András Boruzs: party manager
  • Anett Bősz: chargé d'affaires
  • Viktor Szabadai: party chairman in Budapest
  • István Szent-Iványi: foreign policy advisor

Election results[edit]

National Assembly[edit]

Election year National Assembly Government
# of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
2014 Unity
1 / 199
in opposition

Local elections - Budapest[edit]

Candidate Party Votes Proportions
Zoltán Bodnár Hungarian Liberal Party 12 461 2,10%

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]