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The state secretary for the development of Budapest has accused Budapest’s mayor of backing a racist candidate in a local by-election, and he has demanded an apology. Balázs Fürjes said in a statement that Gergely Karácsony had offended decent Hungarians by supporting László Bíró during the campaign leading up to the Borsod by-election. Fürjes said many people were disappointed in the mayor and expected him to apologise. Left-wing and liberal opposition parties are cooperating with the nationalist Jobbik party during elections. Karácsony is a co-leader of the liberal Párbeszéd party.
Fürjes said their support for Bíró was inconsistent with Karácsony’s Facebook posts in the past calling the Jobbik politician “anti-Semitic, anti-Gypsy and racist.” Bíró has referred to Budapest as “Jewpest” and has made other racist remarks about Jews, the state secretary said. Jewish and Gypsy organisations have condemned left-wing opposition parties and leaders for openly supporting a candidate with a racist past, thereby “legitimising racism and anti-Semitism”, Fürjes said.