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Hungary. Budapest. Demonstration against the government and Viktor Orban. Peter Magyar is the organizer

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A demonstration of thousands of people against the government took place on the streets of Budapest on Saturday. It was organized by Peter Magyar, in recent weeks the main critic of the system created in Hungary by Prime Minister Viktor Orban. – Today the eyes of the world are focused on us, I don't know the future, but I came to tell you that our common future is beginning – said the politician.

The peace on Ferenc Deak Square in the center of Budapest, close to the tourist-frequented Vaci Street, was disturbed on Saturday afternoon by crowds of demonstrators with Hungarian flags who responded to Peter Magyar's appeal and took to the streets to protest against the government.

The media writes about the largest demonstration against the government in recent years. Magyar himself estimated that the protest gathered hundreds of thousands of people.

– Magyar is a great guy, he is trying to end the corrupt mafia state created by Orban – Mate, one of the demonstration participants, told the PAP correspondent. – We hate Orban – he added.

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A demonstration of thousands in the center of BudapestPAP/EPA/Zoltan Balogh

– People organize carsharing to come to the capital and demonstrate against the government – explained a man who lives near Budapest. He expressed hope that Magyar will change the system that Orban has been building since 2010.

Among those gathered at Deaka Square, there were signs with the names of smaller Hungarian towns: Veszprem, Pécs, Ashod, Miskolc, Kiskoros. All with the inscription “Talpra magyar” (Arise, Hungary), which became a slogan of the protest against the government.

A staunch critic of the system created by Orban

In recent weeks, Magyar has become a staunch critic of the system created by Orban. Mid March announced the creation of a new political force and presented his party's 12-point program.

It included, among others: freedom of public media, independence of the prosecutor's office, fight against corruption and “constructive dialogue with the European Union and NATO, taking into account national interests and protecting Hungary's sovereignty.”

Peter MagyarPAP/EPA/Szilard Koloricsak

Magyar, himself previously associated with the government, began to criticize the government and relations in Hungary when his ex-wife Judit Varga had to leave politics. The reason was her involvement in a scandal related to the pardon of a person convicted of covering up pedophilia – as the Minister of Justice in Orban's government, she countersigned President Katalin Novak's decision in this case. The scandal also resulted in Novak herself resigning from her position.

Magyar: our common future begins

On Saturday, the crowd left Deak Square for over half an hour to fill the vast Lajos Kossuth Square in front of the parliament. Along the way, protesters passed posters targeting the opposition that Orban's government had put up all over the capital. People chanted, among others: “We are not afraid!” Many cultural representatives also took part in the demonstration, which was attended by people of different ages.

Orban's main critic organized a demonstration of thousands of people in BudapestPAP/EPA/Zoltan Balogh

– Today the eyes of the world are turned to us, I do not know the future, but I have come to tell you that our common future is beginning – said Magyar in a speech at Kossuth Square. – There are many of us and we are not afraid – he added.

A critic of Orban announced that he would soon announce cooperation with the selected political party before the June elections to the European Parliament. As the media wrote earlier, the too short time left before the elections excludes the possibility of Magyar's party starting on its own.

Demonstration in HungaryPAP/EPA/Szilard Koloricsak

According to a survey by the Republikon Institute, if Magyar founded a political party, it would currently be the third power in Hungary, after the Fidesz-KDNP coalition and the Democratic Coalition (DK) of former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany.

The next demonstration is scheduled to take place in Budapest in early May, and Magyar is expected to begin touring the country soon.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Szilard Koloricsak

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