Hungary's Opposition Socialists Name Botka as Premier Candidate

  • Mayor of Szeged has voted to crack down on corruption
  • Party selects Botka as 2018 nominee at meeting in Budapest

Hungary’s biggest parliamentary opposition group, the Socialist Party, nominated Laszlo Botka as candidate for prime minister in the 2018 elections.

Botka, the 44-year-old mayor of the southern city of Szeged, was nominated in Budapest on Saturday by the congress of the Socialist Party, which governed Hungary from 2002 to 2010. He has vowed to crack down on alleged government corruption and restore western-style liberal democracy in the European Union member state.

Laszlo Botka

Photographer: Zoltan Gergely Kelemen/EPA

The Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who’s seeking a fourth term, leads in all opinion polls. The opposition is splintered, with the Socialists and Jobbik, a nationalist party seeking to move toward the center, among the largest of almost a dozen groups. Jobbik confirmed that Chairman Gabor Vona will be its candidate for prime minister in 2018, according to an emailed statement from the party. 

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