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Jobbik in crisis

May 25th, 2018

As a radical figure sets up his own organised faction within Jobbik, one pro-government commentator predicts that the right-wing party is on an irreversible downhill path, while another suspects that the leader of the extremist rebellion is a secret agent.

László Toroczkai lost the election for party president earlier this month on a radical platform. He has now announced that for the moment he and his followers will remain inside Jobbik, but will set up a nationwide platform called ‘We ourselves’. His goal is to return Jobbik to its original radical vocation.

In Figyelő, Dániel Deák sees two equally dismal options facing Jobbik leaders. If they tolerate the rebellion against their shift towards moderation, their party will be practically paralysed by its internal feud. If, on the other hand, they decide to expel Toroczkai and his group, who represent almost half of the rank-and-file, Jobbik will slip from being the second largest party in Hungary to becoming an insignificant political force. That prospect reminds Deák of the fate of the Socialist Party, which got rid of its internal opposition when former party chairman Ferenc Gyurcsány set up his own party (Democratic Coalition) but could never recover from that loss.

On 888, László Szentesi Zöldi finds it conspicuous that László Toroczkai has never been prosecuted during his fifteen-year career as an extremist. He lists a long series of illegal and even violent acts organized by Toroczkai over the past 15 years, including the siege of the public TV headquarters in 2016 as well as his provocative ‘excursions’ into neighbouring countries, which never resulted in criminal prosecution. He deems it telling that Toroczkai has assiduously avoided running for a seat in Parliament, preferring to become mayor of a small village and running for party chairman instead. “Party chairmen and mayors need no national security clearance”, Szentesi-Zöldi remarks.

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