April 26, 2010
Far-right Jobbik gains in Hungarian elections
Hungary’s openly anti-Semitic nationalist Jobbik Party secured 47 seats in the 386-seat legislature in the second round of parliamentary elections.
Jobbik, which had no seats in the previous National Assembly, in Sunday’s elections improved upon the 26 seats it had won in the first round of voting earlier this month. Jobbik deputies have threatened to march into the new Parliament session wearing the black uniforms and red insignia of the banned paramilitary Hungarian Guard organization.
As expected, the populist, ultra-conservative Fidesz Party grabbed the lion’s share of the vote Sunday, winning 263 seats, after garnering 206 in the first round. Fidesz, which held 163 seats in the last government, now holds more than the two-thirds parliamentary majority required for changing the Constitution in the absence of cross-party accord.
The ruling Socialist Party took 59 seats after taking 28 in the first round of voting—down from 190 in the previous government. Its erstwhile coalition partner, the Liberal Party, which once enjoyed strong Jewish support, lost its parliamentary presence. A new Green Party won 16 seats.
Political and economic analysts fear that the electoral success of Jobbik will undermine Hungary’s nascent recovery from the worst recession since World War II.
The Association of Hungarian Jewish Religious Communities, the largest Jewish organization in Hungary, has formally called on the democratic parliamentary parties to defend the country’s human rights tradition by isolating the incoming racist deputies. Fidesz chief Victor Orban has promised to curb the rise of the neo-Nazis.