András Schiffer

András Schiffer
Co-President of the Politics Can Be Different
In office
24 March 2013  1 June 2016
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Ákos Hadházy
Bernadett Szél
Member of the National Assembly
In office
14 May 2010  5 September 2016
Personal details
Born (1971-06-19) 19 June 1971
Budapest, Hungary
Political party LMP (since 2009)
Profession jurist, politician
The native form of this personal name is Schiffer András. This article uses the Western name order.

András Schiffer (born 19 June 1971 in Budapest) is a Hungarian lawyer and former politician, who served as co-President of the Politics Can Be Different and leader of its parliamentary group.[1][2] Schiffer announced his retirement from politics on 31 May 2016.[3]

Early life

András Schiffer was born in Budapest on 19 June 1971 as the son of journalist Péter Schiffer (born 1943), a former Deputy Director of the Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority (PSZÁF) and jurist Anna Hajnal.[4] Among his uncles are director Pál Schiffer and Socialist politician János Schiffer, who served as Deputy Mayor of Budapest between 1994 and 2006. His grandfather was Pál Schiffer, Sr., a Member of Parliament and Hungarian Ambassador to Norway. His great-grandfather was Árpád Szakasits, a leading Social Democrat, then Communist political figure also president of Hungary in (1948–1949) and Chairman of the Presidential Council of the People's Republic of Hungary (1949–1950) during Communist rule.[5] Schiffer received his Juris Doctor degree at the Eötvös Loránd University in 1995.

In 1989 he was a member of the short-lived "New Generation Movement" led by Ferenc Gyurcsány. In 1990 he was a founding member of the Young Socialists political movement. He was a leader there until 1992 when he quit that organization. He then worked in the private sector and return to public affairs via the green movement. He became part of the leadership of Védegylet. Védegylet was instrumental in electing László Sólyom for President of Hungary, against the Socialist Speaker of the House, Katalin Szili, Schiffer took a leading role in that campaign personally as well.

Schiffer served as Charge d'Affaires of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) from 2004 to 2008. He left the legal aid organization in the Summer of 2008.[6]

Political career

In 2008 he founded the Politics Can Be Different movement, which formed into a party in 2009 (LMP party). In the 2010 National Elections in Hungary he was the leader of the LMP party list and thus he was elected as member of the Hungarian Parliament.[1] He resigned as LMP parliamentary group leader in January 2012.[7] He was succeeded by Benedek Jávor.[8]

Schiffer (right) presents the LMP's program before the 2010 elections

During the party's congress in November 2012, the Politics Can Be Different decided not to join Together 2014, the electoral alliance of opposition parties and movements led by Gordon Bajnai. As a result, Jávor, a follower of the agreement, resigned from his position of parliamentary group leader.[9] Unlike Jávor, Schiffer did not support the cooperation with Bajnai and the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP). According to the press Schiffer's group won within the party and eclipsed the other group led by Benedek Jávor and Gergely Karácsony. In the first round, the parliamentary caucus failed to elect its new leader. Schiffer was nominated but rejected in a vote of 7 in favour, 8 against. In addition The platform 'Dialogue for Hungary' was formed within the party on 26 November 2012, with Jávor as one of its founders. The platform gathers those who would back the Together 2014 electoral movement with the aim of "changing the Orbán regime."[10] Later that day Schiffer was elected leader of the LMP parliamentary group for second time.[11]

MP András Schiffer in September 2015

In January 2013, the LMP's congress rejected against the electoral cooperation with other opposition forces, including Together 2014.[12] As a result, members of LMP's "Dialogue for Hungary" platform announced their decision to leave the opposition party and form a new organization. Benedek Jávor said he eight MPs leaving LMP would keep their parliamentary mandates. They will coordinate with the remaining seven LMP lawmakers in order to keep the parliamentary group operational on some level. Schiffer said the move would not lead to a party split. Less than 10 percent of the party's membership has indicated a desire to leave the party, he said.[13] The leaving MPs established Dialogue for Hungary as a full-fledged party.[14] The eight MPs also left the parliamentary group which then broken up according to the rules of the National Assembly.[15]

Schiffer and Bernadett Szél were elected co-presidents of the LMP during the party's congress on 24 March 2013.[16] The seven MPs of the party were able to re-establish the LMP's caucus on 1 September 2013, after the decision of the Committee on Immunity, Incompatibility and Mandate. Group leader András Schiffer said the newly former parliamentary group of the LMP became the first group in Hungary's history whose majority is female.[17] On 18 July 2015, Schiffer and Szél were re-elected co-presidents of the party.[18]

On 31 May 2016, András Schiffer announced his retirement from politics in an interview in He resigned as co-president of the LMP and leader of its parliamentary group on 1 June, and also added he would return his parliamentary seat on 31 August. Schiffer, referring to the new housing rules unilaterally adopted by ruling party Fidesz, said "the current parliamentary term has clearly demonstrated that we do not have the intellectual atmosphere for politics critical of the system". Schiffer told he would not participate in the next parliamentary election and return to his previous profession as a lawyer.[19]


  1. 1 2 "Schiffer vezeti az LMP képviselőcsoportját" (in Hungarian). 10 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  2. "Gyorshír: Schiffer távozik az LMP-frakció éléről" (in Hungarian). Heti Világgazdaság. 14 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  3. "Schiffer András kiszáll a politikából, visszaadja a mandátumát" (in Hungarian). Heti Világgazdaság. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  4. Ki kicsoda a hírközlésben?. Szekszárd: Babits Kiadó. 1994. p. 278. ISBN 963-7806-90-3.
  5. "Schiffer: Átélhetőbbé kell tenni a magyar demokráciát" (in Hungarian). Népszava. 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  6. "Schiffer András elmegy a TASZ-tól" (in Hungarian). Index. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
  7. "Schiffer resigns as LMP parliamentary caucus leader". Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  8. "Jávor Benedek az LMP új frakcióvezetője" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  9. "Beintett Bajnainak az LMP, lemondott Jávor Benedek". 18 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  10. "LMP fails to elect new parliamentary group leader as split in party continues". 26 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  11. "Ismét Schiffer András az LMP-frakció vezetője". 26 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  12. "LMP rejects proposals for new strategy at party congress". 27 January 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  13. "LMP splits over cooperation with Together 2014; caucus may remain intact". 28 January 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  14. "LMP rebels to establish Dialogue for Hungary as a full-fledged party". 4 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  15. "Eight breakaway LMP lawmakers to sit as independents". 11 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  16. "Szél Bernadett és Schiffer András az LMP két társelnöke" (in Hungarian). Index. 24 March 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  17. "LMP parliamentary group first with female majority in Hungary's history, says leader". 6 September 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  18. "A csalódott fideszesekre építene az LMP". 2015-07-18. Retrieved 2015-07-18.
  19. "Schiffer András lemond minden tisztségéről, kiszáll a politikából". 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2016-06-01.

External links

National Assembly of Hungary
Preceded by
Leader of the LMP parliamentary group
Succeeded by
Benedek Jávor
Preceded by
Benedek Jávor
Leader of the LMP parliamentary group
Succeeded by
Erzsébet Schmuck
Party political offices
Preceded by
New office
Co-President of the Politics Can Be Different
alongside Bernadett Szél

Succeeded by
Ákos Hadházy
Bernadett Szél
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