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The opposition’s goal of maintaining a “grand pact” for the October 13 local elections has collapsed, ruling Fidesz’s campaign chief said. Lajos Kósa, head of the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat (KDNP) alliance’s campaign in the local elections, said the opposition’s “original aim was to field a single candidate everywhere” against the ruling parties. This is only taking place in six of the 23 Budapest districts and two of 23 cities with county rights, he said.

Fidesz-KDNP is fielding 828 mayoral candidates and supporting another 387 candidates nationwide, he said. The opposition is running 128 candidates, he said. Fidesz-KDNP has attained its aim to field a candidate in localities with a total population of 8 million, he said.

Regarding reports of incumbent Budapest mayor István Tarlós “not ruling out” a debate among candidates, Kósa said the decision was up to Tarlós. Kósa said he personally “sees no point” in a debate as “in this case, all it is incompetence up against competence”.