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7th November, 2019

Big construction projects still in doubt

The cabinet and the city of Budapest will continue to consult on large government construction projects planned in the city, it emerged from yesterday’s press conference held by mayor Gergely Karacsony and Prime Minister’s Office leader Gergely Gulyas.

Regarding the building projects under way in the City Park as part of the Museum Quarter planned by the cabinet, Karacsony said it is difficult to go back, but he repeatedly stressed that he does not want new buildings and the cabinet did not argue with him.

He said there was agreement on the need to build a flyover bypassing City Park at Szegedi ut, to free the area of car traffic.

Gulyas said Karacsony made it clear which investment projects the capital needs and which it does not.

He said it is good news for fans of the Kispest football club that the construction of the Bozsik stadium will be completed, adding that there is no threat to the construction of a handball stadium.

Regarding health development projects, both agreed that it is necessary for the districts and Budapest to hold consultations.

The biggest issue is the proposed megahospital in the 11th District. A dispute on its location continues to prevail between Budapest and the cabinet, particularly because of transport problems, based on Karacsony’s comments.

Karacsony asked that the funding for public transport company BKV be solved on the basis of international standards: one-third from the state, one-third from the city, and one-third from the sale of tickets. He acknowledged to reporters that there had not been a breakthrough on this issue.

Gulyas said the cabinet continues to supported public transport in Budapest and will honour its earlier promises.

Karacsony said he is happy that Gulyas is responsible for the capital in the cabinet, but suggested that a dedicated ministry could be a good solution. (infostart.hu; index.hu; atv.hu; origo.hu; 24.hu; hirado.hu; magyarhirlap.hu)
7th November, 2019

Borkai to resign tomorrow

Gyor mayor Zsolt Borkai will resign his post effective 4 p.m. Friday, following the inaugural session of the new city council, he announced yesterday in an open letter to local residents.

Borkai was scheduled to take the oath of office on Thursday.

Fidesz sources told ATV on Wednesday morning that the party would suffer moral harm if Borkai stayed on, and that the best thing would be for him to resign before Thursday’s ceremony.

Fidesz refrained from expelling Borkai last month when a video surfaced of the mayor on a yacht on the Adriatic Sea with two prostitutes and a prominent Gyor businessman.

It is widely believed that the scandal motivated many Hungarians to vote against Fidesz in the local elections.

Borkai was narrowly re-elected but quit the party three days later after meeting with Fidesz national council leader Laszlo Kover and party director Gabor Kubatov.

He was also removed from the Hungarian Olympic Committee.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban strongly hinted in an October 25 radio interview that Borkai should step down.

Asked about Borkai’s resignation yesterday, Prime Minister’s Office leader Gergely Gulyas said “Eureka!”

Borkai said yesterday that “the slanders with one exception are a load of false information on a fake blog, which the press picked up without restraint”.

He added that he loves Gyor and would not like to hinder its further progress.

According to law, a new mayoral election may be held six months after the election. A senior government official said earlier that one of Gyor’s pro-government deputy mayors could steer the city for half a year. (infostart.hu; atv.hu; hvg.hu; hirado.hu; 24.hu; nepszava.hu)
7th November, 2019

Momentum initiates primary in Gyor

Momentum’s deputy Budapest mayor Gabor Kerpel-Fronius yesterday proposed a primary process to choose an opposition mayoral candidate in Gyor after mayor Zsolt Borkai announced his resignation earlier in the day.

Kerpel-Fronius, who lost out to Gergely Karacsony in a primary process, said last month’s local election results in Budapest and the Ninth District show that primaries work.

Continuing, he said primaries enhance participation and democracy, as residents were able to choose the common opposition candidate against Fidesz.

The process produced a substantive discussion of platforms and debates, “something we lost the habit of in the past nine years,” he said.

Timea Glazer, the opposition candidate who was defeated by Borkai last month, said yesterday that the opposition parties must reach a decision on a nominee but she is ready.

She said Borkai is waiting for the city council to convene before resigning so that Fidesz deputy mayors can be elected.

The opposition in Gyor would prefer that an “outside mayor” who is a person of public respect be appointed to run the city for two or three months until a by-election is held.

The Socialist Party said the entire city council should also resign so that new elections can be held in Gyor. (444.hu; index.hu; 24.hu; atv.hu; blikk.hu; hvg.hu)
7th November, 2019

Ministry must issue data on addresses

The Civil Liberties Union and the Political Capital think tank have won a second court ruling in their bid to find out whether non-residents of Hungary were illegally registered to vote in Hungary in last year’s parliamentary elections.

The Capital Court of Appeals yesterday ordered the Interior Ministry to issue address registration data requested by the two organisations.

Suspicion arose before the 2018 elections that ethnic Hungarian citizens abroad created bogus addresses in Hungary so as to be able to vote for individual MPs, not only for party lists, Nepszava writes.

The ministry also lost the first-instance court ruling in March. (nepszava.hu; blikk.hu; 444.hu; hvg.hu; atv.hu; 24.hu)

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