Socialist party split impossible, says senior official

Budapest, June 11 (MTI) – A split within the Socialist party will not take place at a congress next week or any time thereafter, Tibor Szanyi, one of the party’s leaders, said on Saturday.  

In spite of differences of opinions between Socialist stalwarts, Szanyi said he would be “stunned” if the party congress on June 18 results even in the threat of a split. After consultations with many party members, “practically none” said that they would want to leave for the Democratic Party, he added.


Daily Magyar Nemzet reported in early May that a party called the Democratic Party had been registered in February and former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany planned to head it. Earlier, Gyurcsany said he might launch a new political movement if “ditch efforts” to reform the Socialists fail.


Gyurcsany earlier called it the “moral duty” of the Socialist party’s leaders to allow a vote on six proposals that he put forward, among them, holding direct elections for the party leadership and county leaders and making the party’s and officials’ financing more transparent.


Szanyi said that even if Gyurcsany leaves the party, it would not shake the Socialists, just as the departure of former party stalwarts such as Imre Pozsgay, Matyas Szuros, Sandor Csintalan and Katalin Szili did not.


Szanyi reiterated his opinion that Gyurcsany’s infamous “Oszod speech”, which resulted in riots in 2006, was leaked from within Gyurcsany’s close circle. Leaking a speech delivered behind closed doors is common practice among governments, he added.


“If at the time I had been in the circle that made the decision, I would have also voted in support of leaking at least parts of the speech,” he said. He said there was nothing “devilish” about it and he strongly objected to people who accused those who leaked the speech of being traitors to the party.


Gyurcsany dismissed Szanyi’s claim on his Facebook page on Saturday.


“Tibor Szanyi claims that I leaked the Oszod speech. He did not show any proof, but came to this opinion based on a logical conclusion. Tibor is wrong. Everything I know about the matter I told to the parliamentary group a few weeks ago,” Gyurcsany said.

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