“The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) has numerous problems. There are many voters who do not want to see the present day MSZP again. The fact that we are the biggest opposition party now is not much worth in itself” – told Ferenc Gyurcsány in an interview to the Hungarian daily Népszava. The chairman of the Democratic Coalition platform (DK) believes that if Socialists want to garner support from many in 2014, then they should – in essence – create a whole new party – in the cultural, moral and political sense as well. A substantial part of the Socialist party does not understand that, especially the second line (according to Gyurcsány), ‘the numerous great’, who are always working around the all-time chairman of the party, holding on to their positions with a total lack of imagination but with an enormous sense of personal power. “This world and its attitudes will choke the Hungarian Left” – said Gyurcsány, who nevertheless admitted that while MSZP was in power, not even he dared to openly confront this old gang in the party.
It was the Democratic Coalition platform, said Ferenc Gyurcsány, that helped not only the Hungarian Socialist Party, but also the whole Hungarian democratic opposition to come to the conclusion that MSZP was not only an opposition to Orbán’s second government but also to the entire regime built by Orbán. “Our platform is also the main engine behind a reform movement that is aimed at an organizational, cultural and moral renaissance within the Hungarian Socialist Party. The success of the party vote [note: initiated by the DK platform] is not only that we could pose very important questions, but also that party members had an opportunity to express their discontent with the present state of affairs. Of course the party can still bury its problems for quite long using the excuse that our enemies are lining up against us, so we should not do anything within our ranks, however, the result of that will be that MSZP will likely reach 2014 without any substantial changes, thus remaining in its present state, which is just not competitive enough” – explained the former premier.
Mr. Gyurcsány is convinced, though, that the party could be even better than what he proposes. After that he pointed out quickly that he had no intention to become chairman of the party again, and he had no such aspirations any more given that the main problem of MSZP was not what the name of its chairman was (provided that MSZP remained a single party, more exactly, if Gyurcsány remained within MSZP.) “We declared after the last elections that we would make an attempt to reform the Socialist party. This attempt is still under way and may continue until next year at the most. Should it be unsuccessful, we will have to take a decision. I will surely not run for prime minister in 2014 with the backing of an unchanged MSZP” – told Gyurcsány. Because he believes that at a certain point in time, they will have to decide “whether to continue this fight to transform MSZP into a ‘good’ political party, or to look for other political activities, or perhaps to put an end to our journey in politics, and start polishing cars instead”.
As regards the chances to change: when the Democratic Coalition (DK) platform was formed last October, Gyurcsány was much more optimistic than today, because now he thinks that there’s delirious resistance in the midst of the party’s leadership, so that nobody should undo the current ruling culture, attitudes and status quo. In spite of that, Gyurcsány still thinks that his biggest foe is not the Socialist party but the current government. “Fidesz wants to finish me, as we know it from Mr. Orbán, while a section of the Socialist party would only like to deport me in the worst case. These are two very different intentions, yet none of them is nice” – summarized the situation Mr. Gyurcsány.