Incumbent Budapest Mayor István Tarlós pledged to only make realistic campaign promises in the run-up to the Oct. 13 local elections. Speaking at a conference on the city of Budapest organised by the Századvég Foundation, the two-term mayor lamented the “unfounded promises” made in the campaign by other candidates “in a premeditated fashion”. “In the rest of the campaign, I am going to talk only of what I have done, what I think is realistic and what I plan to do,” he said.
Regarding a debate among mayoral candidates, Tarlós said the issue has been “overhyped” and noted that he had never said no to the debate but set conditions to it. The campaign for mayor should be about the issues and functions of a mayor and about previous achievements, he said. On the cooperation with the ruling Fidesz party, Tarlós said the party had supported him “since when it was a party with 6 to 7% support in 1994”. They are in agreement on most issues such as illegal immigration, nation states, family policy and the protection of traditional European policies, he said. There are “points of disagreement”, but Tarlós said he will not “turn his back” on a political community that had supported him for 30 years, he said.
Speaking of developments in the city, Tarlós noted the improvements in public transport. The average age of busses in the capital has sunk to 11 years, the current leadership bought the metro carriages on lines 2 and 4 and started revamping line 3. The city now has a development concept, a mobility plan, new smog regulations and a climate strategy, he said. Regarding future projects, the city has the funding for the refurbishment of the Chain Bridge and its surroundings, for the construction of a new sewage management complex, large-scale bike-road developments and the reconstruction of the airport road, he said.
Századvég head Gábor G Fodor said that in a recent survey conducted by the foundation, 58% of respondents said the city was headed in the right direction. Tarlós had the support of more people than his opponents combined, and 74% thought he would win the election, G Fodor said.