Hungary: Ultra-right Jobbik defeats governing party candidate again
A by-election on Sunday for a parliamentary seat was won by a candidate for the ultra-right "Movement for a Better Hungary" (Jobbik) party who narrowly defeated the rival candidate for the governing "Hungarian Civic Union" (Fidesz) party. Jobbik boss Gábor Vona called his party's victory "historic".
"In Hungary the dominant mood is for a change of goverment and Jobbik will be the force that changes it," he told his celebrating followers in the town of Tapolca in the west of the country. Many Jobbik politicians have become infamous for their anti-Jewish or anti-Romani statements, but recently the party has somewhat toned down its rhetoric in order to reach more voters.
Critics of the party, however, have not been softened. "In the eyes of the rest of the world, Jobbik is an extremist party promoting hatred," Ronald Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress, said on Sunday.
According to political analyst Peter Krausz of Budapest's Policy Agenda, a consultancy, Jobbik has a long way to go before it might be able to win the 2018 parliamentary elections. "It seems impossible that anyone in Europe or the United States would accept a Jobbik government," he said, "but now it is almost certain that many voters are disillusioned with Fidesz's behavior and have begun to support Jobbik."
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