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Jobbik at the gates?

April 2nd, 2015

A liberal commentator believes that Fidesz is about to launch a major campaign against Jobbik. A pro-government columnist fears that Jobbik is a real threat to the country, while another liberal pundit contends that Jobbik is a joke rather than a credible alternative to the current centre-right government.

Fidesz seems to be embarking on a major campaign against the far-right Jobbik party, Tamás Fábián writes on Index. The liberal commentator recalls that both János Lázár, the Cabinet Minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s office and House Speaker László Kövér have recently labelled Jobbik a ‘Nazi’ party. Fábián suspects that this is a sign that Fidesz is about to attack the party, which has increased its popularity in the polls recently, while support for Fidesz has stagnated (see BudaPost March 19). But launching a major campaign against Jobbik is risky enterprise, Fábián speculates. Targeting Jobbik would be an acknowledgement that Fidesz is now afraid of Jobbik, and regards it as a serious challenger. Fábián thinks that Fidesz will probably choose not focus on Jobbik’s anti-Semitic and anti-Roma rhetoric, since this would not discourage its supporters. Instead, Fidesz will try to weaken Jobbik by claiming that the far-right party is financed by Russia, Fábián predicts.

On Mandiner, Gábor Bencsik fears that as Jobbik is increasingly seen as the main challenger to Fidesz, more and more influential supporters will join it. The pro-government columnist suggests that most discontented Fidesz voters would never vote for the Left and thus for them, Jobbik is the only possible alternative to the centre-right party. Despite Jobbik’s anti-Semitic and anti-Roma tendencies, angry voters dissatisfied with the government may well support the anti-establishment far-right party. In conclusion, Bencsik notes that very tough times are ahead for Hungary if Jobbik succeeds in winning the next (2018) elections.

Jobbik is a joke and would not be able to govern the country, Albert Gazda maintains on Cink. The liberal pundit contends that Jobbik has increased its popularity so far by wooing left-wing voters in the countryside, but to become even stronger, it would also need to attract disillusioned Fidesz supporters. Gazda, however, finds it unlikely that Jobbik will be considered as a real alternative to Fidesz. And even if the far-right party won an election, it could not stay in power for long. “We are not in 1933,” Gazda remarks, claiming that a Jobbik government could not abolish constitutional democracy as the National Socialists did after their electoral victory in interwar Germany. Even in the highly unlikely case that Jobbik wins the next elections, the far-right party could not govern and would soon be out of power, Gazda concludes.

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