BUDAPEST Feb 4 A senior Hungarian Socialist
opposition politician was forced to suspend all his positions
and membership in the party on Tuesday after a media report said
he held funds in a foreign bank account that he failed to
The Socialists are the main force in a leftist alliance that
will run against Prime Minister Viktor Orban in a parliamentary
election on April 6. The alliance faces an uphill struggle to
defeat Orban's ruling Fidesz party, which has a firm poll lead.
Without naming its sources, the daily newspaper Magyar
Nemzet reported on Tuesday that Gabor Simon, deputy chairman of
the Socialist party, held an account at a bank in Austria since
2008 where he had around 770,000 euros in October 2013.
The newspaper said Simon did not declare these funds in the
official asset statement he submitted to parliament as a
lawmaker. His 2013 statement published on parliament's website
did not contain the funds.
"At the request of the leadership of the Hungarian Socialist
Party, Gabor Simon has suspended his party membership and all
his positions in the party with immediate effect today," the
Socialist Party said in a statement on its website.
The party said it would hear Simon on Thursday to clarify
the situation and would take "necessary steps" afterwards.
"At the moment it cannot be known beyond doubt which of the
allegations published in the press are true. But the Socialist
Party will do its best to ensure that the truth is revealed as
soon as possible," it said.
Simon could not be reached for comment.
Recent opinion polls show Fidesz enjoys a comfortable lead
over the individual alliance parties combined, helped by a
series of cuts in household energy prices and an improving
The Socialists' allies include former Socialist Prime
Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany's Democratic Coalition, the Egyutt
(Together) 2014 formation of another ex-premier, Gordon Bajnai,
and former lawmaker Gabor Fodor's new liberal party.
According to a poll by Median published late on Tuesday,
Fidesz had 39 percent public support in January while the
opposition alliance had 22 percent.
The far right opposition Jobbik party, which is not part of
the alliance, had 10 percent support.
(Reporting by Krisztina Than and Gergely Szakacs; Editing by