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Hungary: Vice-Chair of Parliament is former neo-Nazi leader

Budapest, 7.5.2014 15:44, (ROMEA)
The flag of Hungary.
The flag of Hungary.

Hungarian MPs have approved the leadership of their newly-elected legislature, including a former neo-Nazi leader who is now the Vice-Chair of Parliament. Hungarian President János Áder has also called on Parliament to re-elect Viktor Orbán as Prime Minister.  

Orbán's party, the Hungarian Civic Union (Fidesz), was the clear victor in the April elections. Áder said he considers his main task for the future to be the development of the Hungarian middle class along a Western model.

The President also said the results of the elections are a clear message to close the "unfruitful political debates of the past" and complete "the lengthy process of regime change". Orbán is the first Hungarian politician to officially receive the opportunity for a third term as Prime Minister, a role he has served in since 2010. 

Orbán's first term as PM was from 1998-2002, and he said he considers the mandate now given him by the voters of Hungary an "exceptional honor". His conservatives hold 133 seats in the 199-member parliament, which, just as during the previous electoral period, gives them a two-thirds majority, facilitating the possibility of adopting amendments to the Constitution.

There is no doubt that an Orbán government will win the support of Parliament. Fidesz's predominance in the legislature was also reflected during the vote for its leadership, the Chair of which is now a representative of Orbán's party, László Kövér.   

Tamás Sneider, a former neo-Nazi leader from the northern city of Eger, was controversially elected Vice-Chair of Parliament, primarily thanks to votes by MPs from his extreme-right, radical Jobbik movement, as well as Fidesz. Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that during the 1990s, Sneider was known in that city under the nickname "Roy" as a violent criminal.

According to information published by news server Novinky.cz, Sneider does not deny that in 1992 he was placed on probation for assaulting a Romani entrepreneur, Béla Farkas. The Hungarian media have reported that Sneider also participated in an attack by right-wing radicals on the building of Hungarian Television in 2006. 

The opposition Socialists, who with 38 MPs are the country's second-strongest party, have criticized the course of the April elections. They believe a new electoral law adopted by the previous Parliament (also governed by Orbán) gave an unfair advantage to the Fidesz party.

Some of Orbán's previous constitutional amendments have been targeted for criticism by the European Union as well. Brussels pointed out that democratic principles such as respect for minority rights, for freedom of religion, and for the independence of the justice system and the media were being violated.  

ČTK, voj, Novinky.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Jobbik, Hungary, Neo-Nazism, Roma



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