The mayor of the northwest Hungarian industrial town of Győr is giving up his membership in the ruling Fidesz party in the wake of a sex scandal video, conservative daily Magyar Nemzet reports.
Just over a week before last Sunday’s municipal elections, an anonymous blogger nicknamed “The Devil’s Advocate” released pictures from a video of Győr mayor Zsolt Borkai having sexual intercourse with prostitutes aboard a luxury yacht. The blogger also made allegations involving Borkai in drug use and corruption, but did not substantiate those charges.
Borkai initially denied that he was the one pictured in the video, but later admitted it and apologized for his “mistake”. Borkai, is a gold-winning Olympic gymnast, who has been the mayor of Győr on behalf of Fidesz since 2006. He is married with two children.
Despite the scandal, Borkai went on to win a fourth term as mayor, winning with a narrow (44.33 percent against 42.86 percent) margin against the candidate of a five-party opposition coalition. His challenger has since asked for a recount of the votes saying many ballot papers with votes for Borkai are invalid.
Though Borkai did win in his own constituency, several analyst have said the spillover effect of the scandal may have led to the defeat of other Fidesz mayoral candidates in closely fought constituencies, such as the regional towns of Eger, Szombathely and Tatabánya.
Fidesz, however, did win the municipal elections with a comfortable margin, having won a majority in all 19 county assemblies of the country and providing the mayors for 13 of Hungary’ 23 largest cities. But István Tarlós, Budapest mayor since 2010 lost against the challenger representing the five-party opposition coalition, Gergely Karácsony and also had to concede mayoral positions in several districts of the Hungarian capital and a few large regional cities.
Title image: Mayor of Győr Zsolt Borkai (MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)