Hungarian Opposition May Boycott Presidential Election
    2012-04-17 20:21:50     Xinhua       Web Editor: Guo
The three political parties in Hungary's parliamentary opposition appear to be upset with the ruling Fidesz Party's choice of candidate for the country's next president.

According to party statements on Tuesday, the opposition is considering boycotting the May 2 president elections to protest Fidesz stalwart Janos Ader's candidacy.

However, a boycott would be little more than symbolic since Ader is likely to be voted by a two-thirds majority in parliament.

"Prime Minister Viktor Orban has made a second mistake in choosing a president," Attila Mesterhazy, chair of the opposition Socialist MSZP party, said on Tuesday.

Orban's previous presidential choice Pal Schmitt was forced to resign after being stripped of his university doctorate for plagiarism. Mesterhazy said Orban ignored the wishes of Hungarians by picking a party politician instead of a respected independent personality.

Green LMP party caucus leader Benedek Javor called the forthcoming presidential election a "game" in which Fidesz was the only player.

The far-right Jobbik party's vice-president Zoltan Balczo called for a general election, saying he felt only a popular vote could restore the credibility of the presidency following Schmitt's resignation.

Alternatively, he said, a nominee acceptable to opposition parties might mitigate the damage but added that Ader was not that person.

The Hungarian Solidarity Movement, a grassroots, politically-neutral organization, issued a statement saying Ader, who currently represents Fidesz in the European Parliament, would be incapable of bringing about national unity, which under the constitution is the role of the president.

While the presidential post is essentially ceremonial, there are significant duties attached to it. Under certain conditions the president may even dissolve parliament. More significantly, the president may refuse to sign laws and return them to parliament for reconsideration, or send them to the constitutional court for ruling if he deems them unconstitutional.

Since a party politician is unlikely to exercise these powers, it is not surprising Fidesz has chosen Ader as its presidential candidate. Ader, a 52-year-old attorney, is a founding member of the ruling party.

The new Hungarian president will have a five-year term in office, until 2017, well beyond the next parliamentary election in 2014.

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