Hungarian Opposition Plans Talks on Union to Oust Orban

Hungary’s biggest opposition party and an opposition umbrella group led by former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai are seeking to start negotiations on an alliance to defeat Premier Viktor Orban in elections in 2014.

Bajnai’s Haza es Haladas will consider a plan to “build a new democratic system,” the Socialist party said today in an e-mailed statement, adding that the aim of the talks is “to name common candidates and then a common party list that provides a democratic alternative to oust the current regime.”

The umbrella group, Egyutt 2014, said in a separate statement that it wants to begin talks next month, agreeing first on “basic principles and ethical standards” before discussing plans to “rebuild the rule of law.”

Opposition groups are seeking to join forces to roll back Orban’s consolidation of power, which has included a new constitution, a narrowing Constitutional Court jurisdiction and a new media regulator led by appointees from the ruling Fidesz party. Orban has also used his two-thirds legislative majority, won in 2010, to redraw electoral districts and overhaul ballot rules, curbing the opposition’s chances against Fidesz.

The party retains its lead in all polls, even after support ebbed midway through its four-year term amid a deepening recession and stalled talks over an international bailout.

Fidesz had 19 percent backing in November among eligible voters, compared with 14 percent for the Socialists and 7 percent for Egyutt 2014, pollster Tarki said on its website. Tarki surveyed 1,000 voting-age adults between Nov. 14 and Nov. 20. It didn’t provide a margin of error.

The Socialists and Bajnai have ruled out an alliance with Jobbik, the radical nationalist party that had 9 percent support last month, according to the poll cited by MTI.

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