A small town conservative and father of seven will lead a coalition of six opposition parties in next year’s parliamentary vote.
A Hungarian political outsider without any party affiliation will run against Prime Minister Victor Urban in next year’s parliamentary elections after winning a landslide victory in Sunday’s opposition elections.
The small town conservative Peter Marquez defeated the leftist Clara Dobrev, who had promised to support him as head of an alliance of six opposition parties.
“We can only win together,” Marquee-Ja told enthusiastic supporters with his wife and seven children standing behind him.
“It was a war, but we also have to win the war,” he said, referring to the 2022 election.
Voting for the 199-seat Hungarian parliament is expected to take place by April.
Dobrev concedes defeat and stands by his former opponent. “I wish him a lot of strength … in an effort to remove Victor Urban and overthrow his regime,” he told a news conference.
Although the final result was supposed to be on Sunday, Markey-Jay’s lead was not found. With 60 percent of the vote counted, he was ahead by a margin of about 58-42 percent.
Marquee-Jay’s family men and the Christian faith can appeal to many uncertain voters. He has sought to present himself as a clear choice for both leftist and conservative voters, campaigning under the leadership of the “clean” coalition and promising to eradicate corruption.
Opinion polls suggest Urban’s conservative Fides party and opposition coalition are at odds.
An economist and engineer who has lived in the United States and Canada for five years, Marquee-Ja won the mayoral race in 2018 in his main city, Hodmezovasarheli, a stronghold of the Fides party.
For the first time since coming to power in 2010, Urban will face a front of opposition parties, including socialist, liberal and formerly right-wing, now center-right, Jabbik.
Despite Urban’s one-on-one debates with the European Union, Marquez-Ja seeks to improve relations with Brussels and in favor of Hungary accepting the euro in the near future.