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Should Jobbik be banned?

December 6th, 2012

Left-wing columnists ponder whether the far-right party should be banned, after MP Márton Gyöngyösi’s anti-Semitic slur, and also what one can expect from the radical party after the incident, which was condemned by all major political parties.

In Népszava, Iván Andrassew criticizes Péter Feldmájer, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary, who said he was pleased with PM Viktor Orbán’s promise to step up the government’s efforts to combat racism and anti-Semitism. PM Orbán both in Parliament and in a private discussion with Feldmájer stated that his government will protect Jews, after Jobbik MP Márton Gyögyösi’s anti-Semitic statement in Parliament (see BudaPost November 28). Andrassew, however, would expect the Prime Minister to take further steps. The left-wing pundit suggests that in order to provide meaningful protection for Hungarian Jews instead of mere words, the government should consider banning the Jobbik party, which, he believes, clearly follows a Nazi ideology.

Banning Jobbik would only serve its own interests, objects Róbert Friss in Népszabadság, weighing the possible effects of silencing the far-right party. If banned, Jobbik would continue as a partisan and extra-Parliamentary force with an even more radical rhetoric, Friss speculates. He adds that limiting free speech would only further damage what remains of the democratic institutions and the rule of law after what he calls the Fidesz government’s authoritarian reforms. Jobbik must be defeated by democratic means, “before it completely destroys the immune system of society,” Friss concludes.

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