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Vona tries to shed his party’s radicalism

August 30th, 2016

While Jobbik’s founding leader explained to a group of friendly intellectuals how he intends to turn his party into a mainstream moderate force, a centrist analyst concedes that there may be room for a middle of the road conservative political group, but doubts that Jobbik is fit to fill that void. 

In Magyar Nemzet, Mariann Katona reports that addressing a group of a hundred and fifty artists and academics, Jobbik chairman Gábor Vona elaborated on his recent Facebook post in which he wrote that he was stripping Jobbik of its radical “soul”, which he himself once gave it. He told his audience that combative and conflictual attitudes were normal in a first stage, but once an organism ‘grows out of puberty’, more moderate policies must prevail, in order to win over a new public.

In his column in the same daily, Albert Gazda finds the idea of a ‘bridge building, positive and creative’ conservative party attractive, but wonders why Mr Vona believes that Jobbik is the right candidate for that role. His constituency will not follow him down that road, while those who leave him are not being replaced by new recruits. Conservative leaning audiences do not trust him. He has no meaningful groups of prestigious people on his side. In case Fidesz fatally botches  something, Gazda adds, masses of disillusioned and angry people might opt for Jobbik, but that scenario is highly improbable and if it does happen, the resulting chaos in society would be most undesirable.


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