Opposition mayoral candidate Gergely Karácsony rejected as “blackmail” a government “threat” to voters to scrap the pact between the government and Budapest — which contains generous central government funding — if incumbent mayor István Tarlós were to lose the October 13 local election.
Karácsony, the joint candidate of the Socialist, Párbeszéd, Democratic Coalition and Liberal parties, said that Gergely Gulyás, the head of the prime minister’s office, had recently declared that the agreement had been signed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “as a private citizen”, and that should Tarlós lose the election the agreement would be null and void. Karácsony called on Budapest voters “not to give in to blackmail”. The government should support Budapest because it is the nation’s capital not because it votes for the ruling Fidesz party, he said. Karácsony also called on Tarlós to “reject the government’s approach on behalf of himself and the citizens of Budapest”, and come clean about whether he finds it acceptable that Fidesz is helping his campaign by “blackmailing voters”.