Former insider vows to challenge Orban ‘power factory’ in Hungary

Mar22,2024



Budapest: Largely unknown to the public until recently, former government insider peter magyar but is torn apart political landscape In HungaryVeteran nationalist vows to challenge PM's “power factory” viktor orban,
Magyar, who says he became increasingly disillusioned with the ruling party's inner workings the more he saw it, managed to rally thousands at a rally last week. He condemned Orbán and his allies, accusing them of corruption.
Some opposition voters are hoping he might be able to dismantle a system firmly under the control of the EU's longest-serving leader.
The 43-year-old met AFP in a central Budapest café wearing his signature white shirt and tie.
Under Orbán, he said, “there are only slogans used like mantras, and all this is designed to control the people and make popular decisions, while in the background they distribute national wealth into private hands.” I hand over”.
Magyar hopes he can bring about change by founding a new centrist party in the Central European country – which Transparency International has rated as the EU's most corrupt country.
He says he wants to expose the past wrongdoings of government officials, which he describes as a “power factory” created by Orbán.
– 'moral duty' –
Magyar, a lawyer by training, has been in the ruling party for a long time Fidesz Party,
From 2010, he worked in the background for Orbán's government as a Brussels-based diplomat dealing with EU affairs. He later became CEO of state-owned student loan provider Dykhtel Kozpont.
Magyar, whose ex-wife is Fidesz member and former Justice Minister Judit Varga, said, “I was always internally critical… but as we went deeper, the system became more sinister.”
Magyar stepped down last month following a political controversy over the child abuse pardon scandal.
Orbán's ally Katalin Novak resigned from the presidency in February after it was revealed that she had pardoned the partner of a convicted child molester. Varga also announced that she was leaving public life.
It was the most serious crisis of Orbán's 14-year premiership.
“I felt it was my moral duty to explain how the system works,” Magyar said, expressing disgust at the “political lynching” Novak suffered from pro-Fidesz campaigners.
His initial social media post alleging widespread corruption and nepotism went viral when the scam was exposed. A longer interview on the independent YouTube channel Partizan received over 2.4 million views.
Magyar has promised to present an audio recording alleging that government minister in a high-profile corruption case, and prosecutors investigating the graft questioned him as a witness this week.
– 'Campaign to defame him' –
Magyar was initially dismissed by the government. However, recently, the pro-Fidesz media have been flooded with negative stories attacking him, his family and acquaintances.
Fidesz mocked “the ramblings of a hurt man”, suggesting he wanted “revenge” for “losing his wife and the jobs he got for her”.
Some media reports also stated that he had committed domestic violence – an allegation he again rejected in his interview with AFP.
A recent poll suggested that any Magyar political party could get about 10 percent in the country of 9.7 million, where elections are due to be held by 2026.
He will attract those voters who are largely disillusioned with the present opposition partyAccording to Daniel Rona, director of the Budapest-based 21 Research Center think-tank.
But in doing so, he risks “further fragmenting the opposition”, Rona said.
Magyar, although pro-West, has been critical of Brussels' “interference in domestic affairs”.
He is against sending arms to Ukraine and breaking relations with Russia, reiterating Orbán's point that he is the only EU leader who has maintained relations with Moscow despite its invasion of Ukraine.
“I am very skeptical about his ability to appeal to Fidesz voters,” Rona told AFP.
“I think as time goes on, he'll be less able to do that,” he said. He also mentioned a “well-organized campaign to defame him”.
But Magyar hopes he and his future allies can break Fidesz's “propaganda wall”.
“People are beginning to understand that this system may appear strong, but as strong as it appears, it can also collapse just as quickly,” he said.
“Every avalanche starts with a ball of snow. So far we only have a snowball, but I think it's accelerating and growing,” he said.



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