Dr. Ibolya David, Hungarian Democratic Forum President, Meets with Hungarian-Americans

Washington, DC – On April 16, the Hungarian American Coalition (Coalition) co-hosted a presentation by Dr. Ibolya David, together with the American Hungarian Federation and the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America (HRFA).

After welcoming remarks by Gyula Balogh, President of HRFA, Mrs. Edith K. Lauer, Chairman Emerita of the Coalition introduced Dr. David to a standing room only audience, as a „responsible political leader with an objective, measured approach and a willingness to engage in a dialogue to achieve a measure of much-needed consensus in today’s Hungary.”

Dr. David observed sadly that, although Hungary had a unique opportunity in 1989 to create a society free from Communism and Soviet occupation, they were unable to achieve what they had hoped because Hungarian politicians on both sides have paralyzed the system by endless political posturing. Thus, other than Hungary’s reorientation to the West, which was begun by Prime Minister Jozsef Antall, the country has been unable to form even a minimal national consensus on major issues.

Dr. David warned, as long as there is no dialogue there can be no compromise, and major problems which require passage with a two thirds majority will remain unsolved.

Dr. David stated that MDF was not a partner in the no-confidence vote to remove Prime Minister Gyurcsany. She considered the scheduling of the vote for October 6th, a national holiday, and an unworthy act. She also contrasted the 50th anniversary of the 1848 Revolution – when it was marked with dignity and pride – with that of the 1956 Revolution, when Hungarian politicians behaved shamefully on what should have been a politically neutral and inspiring occasion.

After Dr. David’s presentation, the audience’s questions were moderated by Zoltan Bagdy, co-president of the American Hungarian Federation. Among other topics, Dr. David discussed the desire of MDF to be „the third force,” a centrist party that provides an alternative choice for middle class Hungarians and she supported the reinstatement of the Office of Hungarians Abroad, the MAERT (Hungarian Standing Conference), and the establishment of parliamentary committee for ethnic Hungarians in the surrounding countries.

On April 19, Mrs. David made a presentation at the Hungarian House in New York to an audience of 100 guests. She gave an insider’s view of parliamentary politics in Hungary today, pointing out where her party’s goals differ from those of the two major parties. She lamented the current lack of cooperation and even civility among the leading political figures in Hungary and expressed her concern for the future unless the political climate changes.

After her presentation, Mrs. David answered questions from the audience, including some which were critical of her role during the last round of parliamentary and local elections. After the two-hour official program, she remained for another 45 minutes to exchange views with those in attendance.

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