The emergence and strengthening of opportunism was the result of the combined effect of several factors, part of which is related to the previous period of socialism and another part is a product of the last two decades.
1. The majority of Workers’ Party members has grown up in the years of socialism, in the spirit of the 20th Congress of the CPSU.
In the system of party education questions of the class struggle were treated in the spirit of the 20th Congress of the CPSU. We were taught that the class struggle is reduced, moreover during socialism disappears or if exists then only in the international arena. In domestic policy a “partnership”, “nationwide” interests of “the whole society” are crucial.
The majority of Workers’ Party members were once taught that communists should cooperate with social-democrats. It was a countless time repeated assertion, almost a dogma that it would have been possible to prevent the rise to power of Hitler if communists had cooperated with social-democrats. These views were also confirmed by the 20th Congress.
Relations between capitalist and socialist countries according to the 20th Congress’s dogma were hoped to be everlasting peaceful coexistence. It was forgotten that capitalism always sought and seeks to destroy socialism.
2. The majority of the Workers Party members had no experience of class struggle
In 1956 he Hungarian communist movement had to face the fact that there existed counter-revolutionary forces which sought to overthrow workers’ and peasants’ government. The experience of 1956 steeled those generation. Those who came after them had no such an experience.
3. For a long time there was ambivalent estimation of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) in the Workers’ Party politics.
In autumn of 1989 on the basis of the former Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (MSZMP) two parties were established. Members of the Workers’ Party, and for rather a long time a part of the leadership too, had illusions that they could cooperate with the MSZP in the fight against capitalism for the interests of working people.
The year of 2002 was decisive in this respect. In the parliamentary elections of 2002 the Workers’ Party in eight single-member electoral district in the second round withdrew its candidates, thereby contributed to the victory in the election of Socialists and the Medgyessy government. Later the leadership of the Workers’ Party often defined self-critically: “we knew we were making a wrong decision, but members of our party believed in the MSZP and the leadership of the party went with the stream”.
At the end of 2002 the 20th Congress of the Workers’ Party had repositioned itself in relation to the MSZP. The Congress declared: the MSZP is neither our friend, nor our natural ally. The MSZP is one of a number of Hungarian bourgeois parties which defend capitalism. This congress decision was a turning point in the life of the party
4. In strengthening of opportunism and prolonged combat against it played its role an ideological unpreparedness of the party.
It was partly the result of the fact that the base of the party among intellectuals was small. In 1989-90 the majority of former Marxist scholars had joined not the Workers’ Party, but the Social-democracy. Partly because it seemed for them to be more easy way out, partly because the MSZP was able to provide them with material means while the Workers’ Party was unable to do this. 
Another problem – ideological work had not become the cause of the whole party. The Resolutions of the Central Committee provided clear Marxist analysis, but we could not make those materials reach everyone. A part of the members of the party came under the influence of anti-Marxism.
A serious drawback of the Workers’ Party was that the party failed to develop a system of party education. There were many attempts, but all of them were unsuccessful. We found that it was already impossible to teach Marxism using old textbooks and tutorial materials. We needed new methods, new textbooks, new teachers, but all that took time.
5. A considerable part of the party members for a long time refused to believe the possibility of an intraparty opportunistic opposition.
Many of them were never tired of repeating that “we should see what we have in common, and not what divides us.” Many thought that bad intentions were out of question, younger leaders of the party were just seeking some forms of modernisation. It is regrettable that even for some members of the presidium of the party it took time to recognise that we were facing not the misconceptions and delusions of some young leaders, but a general ideological and political offensive aimed to split the Workers’ Party.
6. Frustration, pessimism of the party members played their role too.
It was hard to get used to the fact that from 1989-90 there was capitalism in Hungary. It was hard to understand what did it mean to lose the power. Many of the party members still hoped that downturn in the communist movement would soon pass and even if the socialism would not come back, the party would strengthen. Many did not understand why the Workers’ Party despite 15 years of hard and persistent struggle could not get to parliament while Greek, Portuguese, Czech and other communists achieved good election results.
7. The strengthening of opportunism inside the Workers Party was in every possible way supported by the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP).
The leaders of the social-democrats realized that in the near future the Workers’ Party could mean danger for the MSZP. What indicated that?
First, though the Workers’ Party could not get to parliament as its 2,2-3,9% results were not enough to overcome an election barrier of 5%, still in 2002 in many electoral districts votes from the Workers’ Party decided the election. If in 2002 in the second round of elections the Workers’ Party had not supported the MSZP candidates, the latter apparently would have lost. Then the MSZP on the list scored 42%, while the rival Fidesz 41,07%.
Second, in 2004 the Workers’ Party initiated a national referendum about privatisation of hospitals and other health care facilities demanding that those should stay in state or municipal property. This initiative was openly directed against the MSZP, because then the MSZP was in power and it was the socialist-liberal government that decided to privatize health care. The activists of the Workers’ Party despite of winter cold and snow did collect the 200,000 signatures necessary for the referendum (moreover altogether 300 000 signatures were collected). This was the evidence of the organisational strength of the Workers’ Party.
Third, the 20th Congress of the Workers’ Party held at the end of 2002 had changed the policy of the party in relation to MSZP and made it clear that in future elections the Workers’ Party would not support the MSZP in any form.
The initiative of the Workers’ Party on national referendum disturbed the socialists, they have tried to “buy” the Workers’ Party. György Jánossy, the then Chairman of the Board of the MSZP was instructed to persuade the Workers’ Party, personally Attila Vajnai not to give in the collected signatures. They also asked communists not to nominate their candidates at the elections to European Parliament. In return they offered support in the local governments and well-paid positions in state institutions. The answer of the leadership of the Workers’ Party was short: The Workers’ Party is not for sale! Our party had submitted the collected signatures and persisted on the referendum.
The leadership of the MSZP realised that in 2006 parliament elections they would face a very strong Fidesz, that was why every single vote would be of great importance. The Socialist Party never wanted to cooperate with communists at the all-country level. Their aim has always been to win votes of the Workers’ Party referring to the phrase “under the threat of fascism the Left should unite”.
8. In the strengthening of opportunism the role of the Party of the European Left (PEL) was also significant.
The Hungarian Workers’ Party was one of the founders of the PEL, though from the very beginning we treated the PEL with considerable reservations. The PEL spirit had its influence on intellectual circles of the Workers’ Party, though that influence was somewhat limited by the language barrier.
In December 2004 the PEL president Fausto Bertinotti had visited Budapest in order to convince the leadership of the Workers’ Party of the importance of the "new European political culture”, which in his opinion was to replace the “outdated” concept of class-struggle. Bertinotti failed to convince the leadership of the party, but the opportunist opposition felt the evidence that their views and actions were supported at the “European level.”
In January 2005 Attila Vajnai then still vice-president of the party proposed to hold all-party vote to confirm our membership in the European Left. His intention was obvious: under the guise of “European” and “modern” bring the party on his side. The Central Committee rejected the idea of all-party vote.