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Can the Left strike an electoral deal with Jobbik?

November 21st, 2017

A pro-government author describes Jobbik leader Gábor Vona as a hypocritical salesman who is trying to sell his party to the Left in a desperate attempt to boost his performance at next year’s election. 

Anti-government activist Márton Gulyás announced on Sunday that his KOM (A Country For All) movement would survey all 106 electoral constituencies to pinpoint the most popular opposition candidates and then invite anti-government voters to cast their votes for that person. On the previous day, DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány said his party might not compete with some Jobbik candidates if they stand a chance of winning in their constituency and if their views and deeds are found to be ‘decent’. Liberal philosopher Ágnes Heller advised the Left to ally itself with Jobbik as the only way to defeat the incumbent government next year. Mr Vona was the guest of a Jewish cultural centre in Budapest last week and was interviewed there by a veteran left-liberal journalist. For the moment, left-wing parties still  officially reject the idea of an alliance with Jobbik.

In Magyar Idők, Áron Nagy finds it curious that Ms Heller should explicitly disregard the anti-Semitic language formerly used by Jobbik and even the most recent disrespectful remarks made by Jobbik officials about the Holocaust. One of them, he points out, even complained about ‘excessive Jewish influence in politics and the economy’. The pro-government author goes on to describe Mr. Vona’s performance in Budapest’s Spinoza House, where the leader of Jobbik told his audience that Prime Minister Orbán was more right-wing than he is and distanced Jobbik from its own previous racist propensities. In a sarcastic closing remark, Nagy agrees with Mr Vona who said his presence in the Spinoza House was part of the first stage in a marketing process where the seller is trying to build confidence among the buyers.

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