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LATEST: Gergely Karácsony withdraws from opposition race in favour of Péter Márki-Zay

Budapest, Hungary – Budapest-mayor Gergely Karácsony withdrew from the Hungarian opposition primaries and will support liberal-conservative Hódmezővásárhely-mayor Péter Márki-Zay.

Gergely Karácsony announced his withdrawal on Friday morning after a hectic week of negotiations. Talks seemed to have broken down on Wednesday night and it seemed that all three candidates will contest the second round, which made DK’s Klára Dobrev’s victory highly likely. Karácsony and Márki-Zay both think she does not have a chance against Viktor Orbán.

However, Momentum’s endorsement of Péter Márki-Zay on Thursday afternoon seems to have changed the picture as it was reported in the news that Karácsony was negotiating with parties supporting him about the terms of his withdrawal shortly after. Rumours emerged late last night that the two mayors might run in tandem, meaning they would have 2-2 years in office, similarly to the current arrangement in Ireland and Israel but these turned out to be untrue.

Gergely Karácsony stated that supporting Péter Márki-Zay was an easy decision because he knows he is a person of integrity and that he can beat Orbán but withdrawing was a difficult one given that the Hódmezővásárely mayor is a liberal-conservative and he is a social democrat.

He also stated that he trusts Márki-Zay to implement parts of his manifesto. Márki-Zay commended Karácsony for his decision and called people to applaud him. He also vowed to represent left-wing voters and their interests and announced he would join Karácsony’s 99% movement.

By Ábel Bede

Ábel Bede was born in Budapest and has two degrees in History from Durham University. He specialised in Central Europan history and has been contributing to Kafkadesk since 2019. Feel free to check out more of his articles right here!

Coordinated by Ábel Bede, Kafkadesk's Budapest office is made up of a growing team of freelance journalists, editors and fact-checkers passionate about Hungarian affairs and dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, events and insights from Hungary.