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08 July 2015

Gábor Vona: Jobbik is the only alternative to the current government

Hungary’s radical nationalist Jobbik has made a breakthrough over the previous half-year and become a people’s party, the party’s leader Gábor Vona said, assessing the first sixth months of the year.

The ruling Fidesz is “broken” and the left wing is “agonising”, Mr. Vona told a press conference. Voters will only have a choice between Fidesz and Jobbik in the next general election, he added. The left is trying to blur the line between Jobbik and the governing parties, pointing out however that votes in parliament do not support this view. Jobbik makes its decisions based on the content of bills and not based on its proponents, he insisted. He said Fidesz, unlike Jobbik, was “arrogant and corrupt”. Fidesz has surpassed the former Socialist government in terms of corruption, he said. The party chairman said it was “hypocritical” of Fidesz to reject the proposed rule on making the wealth declarations of politicians’ family members compulsory. The ruling party also declined to respond to “easily proven” allegations that they had syphoned off money from the Quaestor brokerage days before it went under, he said. Jobbik’s agenda for the autumn includes anti-corruption efforts, a drive to allow men to join women in retiring after 40 years, to resolve the conflicts resulting from “Hungarians and Gypsies” living side by side and to debate the future of the European Union, Mr. Vona said.

He said immigration issues have drawn attention away from the problems of Roma living together with the mainstream population, but Jobbik wants to keep this question on the agenda. The government should go beyond its “verbal euro-scepticism” and actually deal with the issue of amending the accession and basic treaties, Vona said. Fidesz said Jobbik had “abandoned the Hungarian people on serious issues several times.” Jobbik had voted against or abstained on several key issues over the past six months which aimed at improving people’s livelihoods, the Fidesz parliamentary group said in a statement. The changes Jobbik did not support included next year’s tax cuts, increasing tax credits for families, holding banks to account, wage hikes for law enforcement staff, tightening rules for brokerages and approval on Hungary’s role in anti-IS efforts, the statement said.

According to a recent public opinion poll conducted by Nézőpont Intézet, the governing centre-right Fidesz-KDNP alliance holds 27 per cent of support among the entire population, followed by Jobbik at 16 per cent and the left-wing MSZP and DK parties at 7 and 6 per cent, respectively.