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MSZP Organization in Sopron Disbands Due to Support for Dialogue Party's Mayoral Candidate, Party Headquarters Confused

In a significant political upheaval, the local organization of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) in Sopron has chosen to disband in response to the national leadership’s decision to support the Dialogue for Hungary (Párbeszéd) party's candidate for mayor, leading to a mass departure of its members.
The party leadership contends that there was previously no objection from the local organization concerning this inter-party agreement and notes the absence of an MSZP candidate for the position.

As Hungary anticipates the upcoming municipal elections in 2024, questions arise about the political landscape, including whether Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony will retain his position and which cities could see opposition success. The elections, set for June 9, are also seen as a test of whether public scandals can impact the ruling Fidesz party's strongholds.

“The local organization of MSZP in Sopron and its surrounding area has decided to dissolve our community and all members will leave the party. This grave decision, the heaviest in our 35-year history, was made because we find the national presidency's decision to nominate Adrienn Jakál (Dialogue) for the mayoral candidacy both personally and politically unacceptable,” stated the local socialists in a release sent to hvg.hu. They further emphasized, “We find Adrienn Jakál's candidacy unacceptable, therefore we cannot support her.”

Adrienn Jakál has not only drawn criticism from the local MSZP members but also previously caused division within the Democratic Coalition (DK), where the national leadership's decision to support her overrode the wishes of the local organization. This led to the resignation of the DK local organization's campaign leader and widespread discontent among its members. A similar situation unfolded in the local MSZP branch, which, according to reports, acted under pressure from Gergely Karácsony, leading to Jakál's nomination against the will of the local organization.

The party organization deems it “a dishonest and illegitimate decision for the national leadership of MSZP to disregard our nomination rights guaranteed by the constitution, acting solely out of existential panic and crossing any and all lines just to secure a political livelihood in the next term.”

As a result, the local MSZP branch is disbanding. Technically speaking, with the mass resignations, it automatically ceases to exist; only the national organization can officially dissolve a local branch. The departing members have expressed their support for Endre Sovány, an independent and non-partisan candidate for mayor, as part of the newly established "Szegfű-baráti Circle." The local Momentum organization also backs Sovány, an electrician standing as an independent in the election.

While the MSZP leadership's official response to the situation in Sopron is pending, sources within the party leadership informally told hvg.hu that they do not understand the outrage from the Sopron organization, highlighting that they had consulted local organizations across the country to inquire about their own mayoral candidates or if they would support a candidate from an allied party. The former, now-resigned leader of the Sopron organization, had indicated to the central leadership that they had no MSZP candidate and found Jakál acceptable, who had also been supported by the MSZP in the 2021 pre-elections. According to party leadership, this was the basis for reaching an agreement with Dialogue, as in many other parts of the country.

UPDATE:

The MSZP has now officially responded to the decision of the Sopron socialists. They express regret but maintain that the national leadership acted in good faith, continuously coordinating with the president of the Sopron organization. They claim they were informed that the local organization had no candidate of its own, thus saw no obstacle to supporting Adrienn Jakál, a municipal councilor and member of the Dialogue-Greens executive. Following the agreement, the Sopron organization leadership, citing previous grievances, found Jakál unworthy of support, thereby aligning with Endre Sovány. This led to the resignation of Sopron's city president, which the MSZP leadership interpreted as an acknowledgment of responsibility for the situation, calling it an “insoluble deadlock” that ultimately led to the disbanding of the Sopron organization, which they plan to re-establish, welcoming back old members. They added that, as part of a party-wide agreement, MSZP supports Dialogue-Green candidates in five locations nationwide, while in return, the Dialogue-Greens support MSZP candidates in 28 locations.
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