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European Parliament elections. The first election debate on public television in over a dozen years took place in Hungary

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On Thursday evening, the first major political debate before the European Parliament elections in nearly two decades took place on Hungarian public television. It was attended by leaders of the ruling parties and opposition groups that are growing in the polls.

The debate that took place in Varkert Bazar on the Danube was attended by MEP Tamas Deutsch, who heads the list of the ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition and the prime critic of the prime minister. Hungarian Viktor Orbana – Peter Magyar and the leaders of nine other opposition groups and coalitions. Among the topics of debate were: European Union, war in Ukraine and the issue of migration.

Peter Magyar speaks to supporters in front of the public television building PAP/EPA/Szilard Koloricsak

As independent Hungarian media point out, this was the first major election debate in Hungary in 18 years, i.e. since the then Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany and the then opposition leader faced each other in 2006 Viktor Orbán.

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“Since then, no election debate has been held on public television, and civic and opposition initiatives have been either ignored by Fidesz candidates or rejected for various reasons,” writes the Telex portal.

Immediately before the start of the debate, the TISHA party organized a demonstration against the public media.

Protest before the debate in Varkert Bazar PAP/EPA/Szilard Koloricsak

Magyar became involved in politics only three months ago, moving from cooperation with Fidesz to sharp criticism of the system created in Hungary since 2010. In early April, he organized the largest anti-government demonstration since 2014 in Budapest.

European Parliament elections

Polls published in recent weeks show that TISZA is quickly gaining the support of voters in Hungary and is already the main opposition force on the Hungarian political scene. At the beginning of May, support for this party was around 20 percent.

According to a survey published by the Median center on Thursday, the Fidesz-KNDP coalition obtained 48 percent. indications, and the TISZA party 29 percent. support of Hungarian voters. The remaining groups did not exceed 10 percent. support.

Elections to the European Parliament will be held in Hungary on June 9, parallel to elections local government.

READ MORE: Will the balance of power change in the European Parliament? Election predictions

The European Parliament – what competences it has and how it influences the lives of EuropeansTVN24

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Szilard Koloricsak

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