An extraordinary congress of the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) held in Dunajská Streda on Saturday, July 10, elected József Berényi as its new chairman to lead the party until its general congress next year, the TASR newswire wrote. Berényi previously served as an SMK vice-chairman and he replaced Pál Csáky as leader of the party.
SMK suffered a debacle in the general election in June, gaining only 4.33 percent, and did not make it to parliament but Berényi said the party has a good chance of returning in four years, pointing to the party's presence in the European Parliament and regional and local governments.
Berényi said that the entire former leadership is responsible for the failure in the general election, so his mission will be to bring "new blood" into the party. At the same time, changes should be carried out with appropriate regard to continuity, he stressed.
He said one of the main causes of SMK's election defeat was a badly run campaign, which focused more on eliminating a certain party from the race, the breakaway Most-Hid party which became part of the new Government, than promoting SMK itself. He said additional reasons were an escalation in Slovak-Hungarian tensions weeks ahead of the election and SMK's refusal to take part in televised debates.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
12. Jul 2010 at 14:00