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Hungarian government targets former Fidesz ally in elections campaign

Péter Magyar, the former husband of one-time justice minister and Orbán ally Judit Varga holds a smoke-candle after his speech on Hungary's National Day in Budapest on Friday,
Péter Magyar, the former husband of one-time justice minister and Orbán ally Judit Varga holds a smoke-candle after his speech on Hungary's National Day in Budapest on Friday, Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Rita KonyaClara Preve
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Following his divorce with Fidesz' former justice minister, Péter Magyar emerged as a key opposition figure of Viktor Orban's government.

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The Hungarian government started a fresh round of anti-EU billboard campaign ahead of the EU elections. Leading EU opposition figures are being portrayed as servants of the Commission, particularly president Ursula von der Leyen. In the firing line is the former ally of the Fidesz elite, Péter Magyar, who is rising as an opposition figure against Prime Minister Viktor Orban. 

Magyar portrays his recently-launched party TISZA as the new movement against Fidesz. Earlier this month, he told tens of thousands of supporters that the government had "betrayed" its voters. Magyar's party is expected to participate in the European elections, scheduled for this June.

"I laugh at these posters, that I am a leftist or a puppet of Ursula von der Leyen. I will never be, " Magyar told Euronews. "The TISZA Party believes in a European Union based on strong member states, we will join the European Prosecutor's Office, and our representatives will sit in the European People's Party, from which Fidesz was kicked out. We seek a constructive but critical relationship with Brussels."

Trained as a lawyer, who has also served as a Hungarian diplomat, Magyar was married to Judit Varga, the former justice minister under the Fidesz party in the government. The media traditionally portrayed their family as a picture-perfect conservative family. Magyar had previously talked about leaving office to look after their young three children.

The couple divorced in March 2023. Varga was expected to become an MEP in Brussels following the European elections in the summer.

In February this year, Varga and former President Katalin Novak resigned from office after the media revealed that they had issued a presidential pardon to a man convicted for covering up sexual abuse at a children's home.

Less than a year after his divorce and following the resignation that hit the reputation of Orban's government, Magyar came out as a major voice of the government's opposition. 

Tudomásul veszem, hogy mind Orbán Viktor, mind Gyurcsány Ferenc gyáva ahhoz, hogy az ország nyilvánossága előtt élő...

Posted by Péter Magyar on Saturday, April 13, 2024

In April this year, Magyar launched the TISZA party to oppose Orban's government. "Let's see how afraid the authorities are and whether they will try to prevent our departure with administrative means," Magyar said. "The June 9 election will be a milestone. If we stick together and stick together, nothing and no one can stop us from taking back our country."

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