The Movement for a Better Hungary (Hungarian: Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom), commonly known as Jobbik (Hungarian: [ˈjobːik]), is a Hungarian political party. Originating with radical and nationalist roots, at its beginnings, the party described itself as "a principled, conservative and radically patriotic Christian party", whose "fundamental purpose" is the protection of "Hungarian values and interests." In 2014, the party was described as an "anti-Semitic organization" by The Independent and a "neo-Nazi party" by the president of the European Jewish Congress. From 2015 to 2020, the party started to re-define itself as a more moderate conservative people's party and changed the controversial elements of its communication, culminating with its new declaration of principles now defining itself as a centre-right, pro-European party with some residual nationalist tendencies. According to the party's "Declaration of Principles", Jobbik "always focus on the interests of Hungary and the Hungarian people instead of a political group or an ideology. On the other hand, we reject hatemongering and extreme political views that are contrary to Christian values and ethics."
|Deputy President||Márton Gyöngyösi|
|Secretary General||Zoltán Lejer|
|Parliamentary leader||Péter Jakab|
|Founded||24 October 2003|
|Headquarters||1034 Budapest, Bécsi út 120.|
|Youth wing||Jobbik Young Section|
|Paramilitary wing||Magyar Gárda|
Centre-right to right-wing
Until c. 2015:
|European affiliation||Alliance of European National Movements|
|European Parliament group||Non-Inscrits|
|Slogan||A Magyar Néppárt |
(transl. The Hungarian People's Party)
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The Movement for a Better Hungary more commonly goes under its abbreviated name Jobbik, which is in fact a play on words. The word jobb in Hungarian has two meanings, the adjective for "better" and the direction "right". Consequently, the word comparative Jobbik means both "better choice" and "more to the right". This is somewhat similar to the English phrase "right choice", which could mean both "a choice on the right side of the political spectrum" and "a correct choice".
Platform and ideology
On 30 June 2020, Péter Jakab the president of Jobbik and Koloman Brenner member of the strategic group of the party introduced a new declaration of principles of the party, replacing its previous hardline nationalist-populist, Eurosceptic, anti-globalist, and irridentist one. The party redefined itself as a Christian, conservative, centre-right, socially sensitive people's party in the document. The document defines Jobbik as the only people's party in Hungary, and stated that "Jobbik is an independent political movement that strictly observes its own values but is willing to cooperate with other political forces to restore democracy and the rule of law in Hungary."
Currently, the party describes itself as a modern conservative people's party. A 28 February 2020 opinion poll by IDEA for Euronews was analyzed by leading political scientist Balázs Böcskei. He interpreted that from a former nationalist party, Jobbik has completed its transformation into a moderate people's party and its voting base has been changed, and now competes for a predominantly moderate conservative pro-EU constituency.
Since 2014, the party has not used the "radical right-wing" term to define itself, stating that it aims to represent all Hungarian people, not exclusively the right-wing of the political spectrum. According to Gábor Vona, the president of Jobbik, after 2014 the party has grown out of its "adolescence" and reached its adulthood. The party has significantly changed its views on the European Union, while in internal politics the party has started to emphasize opening towards the different groups of the Hungarian society. At the same time, Vona distanced the party from "wrong statements" that it had made in the past.
Earlier, the party often defined itself as "a principled, conservative and radically patriotic Christian party", whose "fundamental purpose" was the protection of "Hungarian values and interests". Since then, Jobbik has implemented major changes in its program and policies, due to its growing popularity and broadening supporter groups. Earlier Jobbik's ideology has been described by political scholars as right-wing populist, whose strategy "relies on a combination of ethno-nationalism with anti-elitist populist rhetoric and a radical critique of existing political institutions". For its part, Jobbik rejects the common classification of the political spectrum in left and right. The party sees itself as patriotic. The party has always rejected the term 'far-right', and instead labeled itself as 'radical right-wing'. It has also criticised media companies for labelling them as 'far-right' and has threatened to take action towards those who do. In 2014, the Supreme Court of Hungary ruled that Jobbik cannot be labeled "far-right" in any domestic radio or television transmissions, as this would constitute an opinion because Jobbik has refused the 'far-right' label.
At its beginnings, Jobbik described itself as rejecting "global capitalism" and European Union, because they felt disappointed with the conditions of the Hungarian EU accession. While the party previously also opposed Zionism, the party's leader, Gábor Vona, stated in February 2017 that he has "never questioned Israel's existence" and that the party supports a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. In July 2018, the party also voted in the European Parliament in favour of greater security coordination with Israel. At some level the party adheres to Pan-Turanism, an ideology that asserts that Hungarians originate from the Ural–Altaic race. Consequently, the party strongly supports closer ties with Turkey, with Vona criticizing the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt and praising Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a "very strong leader".
Jobbik, according to the recent remarks from the party, does not regard ideological issues as a primary goal anymore but puts focus on the elimination of social tensions and controversies as well as on the fight against the growing corruption in the public sphere and administration.
In summer of 2016 Gábor Vona, the president of Jobbik, declared a new style of politics, called "modern conservatism" with the aim to exceed the pointless debates between the right- and the left-wing and to induct cooperation among Hungarians with different political backgrounds. According to Vona, the goal of "modern conservatism" is, beyond politics, to build a society that can, by its proactivity, be a basis for a more democratic political functioning. As a historical precedent, he referred to the ideals of István Széchenyi, who is considered as one of the greatest statesmen of the Hungarian history.
Relation to the European Union
Upon its formation, Jobbik had a strongly critical stance towards the European Union. The party regarded the accession of Hungary a failure, and looked on the EU as an organization that did not serve the interests of the Hungarians. However, even in this period, the party did not refuse the idea of a radically reformed European confederation. After the Brexit and the continuous debates on the future of the European Union, the party has reassessed its views on the EU and started to emphasize that by adequate policies and some EU reforms, the organization could be made advantageous for European nations. According to Jobbik, Hungary should join the Eurozone as soon as possible since it is a not a political but an economic question. On his press conference on 27 October 2017, the president of the party, Gábor Vona, said that if some conditions were fulfilled Jobbik could even support further deepening of the EU.
In December 2018, Jobbik presented its 2019 European Parliament election program in which the party highlighted three topics of key importance: European cohesion, joint European solution on migration issues and centralized European action against fake news. According to the published program Jobbik stands for EU membership of Hungary and advocates for just union based on the principle of solidarity on the ideas of Robert Schuman and Konrad Adenauer.
Jobbik considers the issue of decreasing the wage differences between the regions of the EU especially important. Thus, the party sees a strong convergence of the countries as an important goal by launching a pan-European wage union. Reducing the economic differences between the Western and the Eastern part of the European Union and the development of the Eastern regions are key elements of the new EU-policy of the party. According to them, due to the lack of development, both the Central and Eastern European governments and the EU have turned a blind eye on corruption. Therefore, Jobbik played a leading role in the formation of the Wage Union European Citizens' Initiative, that started its work on 14 March 2017 with the participation of representatives from 8 Central European countries.
At its beginnings, Jobbik rejected globalised capitalism, and the influence of foreign investors in Hungary. In the past, Jobbik has specifically opposed aggressive Israeli investment in Hungary and selling-out of the country. On 4 May 2013, protesting against the World Jewish Congress's choice to locate their 2013 congress in Budapest, party chairman Gábor Vona said, "The Israeli conquerors, these investors, should look for another country in the world for themselves because Hungary is not for sale", responding to a highly-controversial 10 October 2007 speech of Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Peres' statement that "from such a small country as ours it is almost amazing, that we are buying up Manhattan, Hungary, Romania and Poland" inflicted a heated debate in the Hungarian public discourse and the Israeli diplomacy had to explain the controversial words several times.
According to the party's 2017 Manifesto, an innovative economic policy should be followed, whose goal is to find opportunities in the global economy. An increasingly-important point of Jobbik's economic policy is the creation of a more-competitive national economy that is able to provide higher wages. The party aims to support SMEs and a balanced development with multinational companies.
This section needs to be updated. (August 2020)
The party argued on its formation that the national police should be greatly strengthened and, along with the Fidesz, supports introducing a "three strikes law". However, political rivals of Jobbik claim that its connections with the Magyar Gárda militia (which is now banned) cast doubt on the party's commitment to peace and order in Hungarian society, and even within party ranks.
Minority rights and demands for territorial autonomy for Hungarians outside of Hungary
Jobbik strongly promotes the welfare of the large Hungarian populations living outside Hungary as ethnic minorities. The party demands minority rights for these groups in accordance with Western European standards. Along with almost all current Hungarian political parties, Jobbik demands the reestablishment of "territorial autonomy" in the Székely Land of Romania, and desires to make Carpathian Ruthenia an independent Hungarian district on the model of South Tyrol. Jobbik is frequently accused of agitating for a return to pre-Treaty-of-Trianon borders. However, Jobbik has never suggested changing borders by force, and believes that the ultimate solution is territorial and cultural autonomy within a European Union framework of minority rights.
One fourth of ethnic Hungarians live outside the country. Many suffer discrimination because of their ethnicity, causing frequent diplomatic disputes between Hungary and its neighbors. Jobbik dedicates itself to supporting the cause of Hungarian minorities in adjoining countries, vocally defending their schools, churches and cultural values.
The party's 2009 election slogan "Hungary belongs to the Hungarians" (Magyarország a Magyaroké!) attracted much scrutiny. While some critics dismissed the slogan as a tautology, others considered it a call to bigotry and complained to the National Electoral Commission, which ruled it "unconstitutional" on the eve of the election.
Besides defending the rights of ethnic Hungarians living abroad, Jobbik actively supports the cultural autonomy and language rights of the autochthonous ethnic minorities living in Hungary.
The party has a pragmatic stance on cooperation among the Central European nations and states and, despite historical differences, strongly supports their common action within the EU. Jobbik leaders have called for action in the framework of the Wage Union European Citizens' Initiative.
History and development
The group was first established in 2002 as the Right-Wing Christian Youth Community (Jobboldali Ifjúsági Közösség – JOBBIK) by a group of Catholic and Protestant university students. It was founded as a political party in October 2003, by Gabor Vona, the son of a staunchly anti-Communist farming family.[third-party source needed]. The new party elected Dávid Kovács as president, serving until 2006. A key figure was Gergely Pongrátz, who in a speech to the founding conference invoked the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[third-party source needed]
Around Christmas 2003, Jobbik conducted a nationwide programme of erecting crosses, to remind Hungarians of the "true meaning" of the holiday. The move was criticized by several Christian intellectual groups.
Even though the far-right Hungarian Justice and Life Party (MIÉP) and Jobbik had publicly quarreled, the parties formed an electoral alliance for the 2006 national elections, the MIÉP–Jobbik Third Way Alliance of Parties. The alliance sought to win votes from the major conservative Fidesz party.
However, the alliance won only 2.2% of the votes, and Jobbik largely withdrew from it. In 2009 the State Audit Office (ÁSZ) reported the alliance for grave breaches of accounting rules. Jobbik blamed MIÉP alone for the irregularities.
Jobbik fought the 2010 and 2014 general elections without political allies. Recently, some left-wing intellectuals suggested a coalition between the left-liberal parties and Jobbik to challenge the Fidesz government; however Jobbik rejected the idea to cooperate with parties which they call "20th century powers". Nevertheless, Gábor Vona said in an interview that "We will need several bridges ... to voters on the left, not to parties on the left. Jobbik offers a message, a program both to former leftist and former rightist voters."
Magyar Gárda and conflicts in the party
During the 2000s public order was one of the key topics of the Hungarian political life, especially after in 2006 Roma people lynched a Hungarian teacher in the Eastern Hungarian village of Olaszliszka. The case turned public attention to the failure of Roma integration and the inability of the Hungarian police to maintain law and order in the Hungarian countryside. The idea of setting up a "national guard", similar to the National Guard of the United States, became widespread among the conservative political parties of Hungary.
In June 2007, Gábor Vona, supported by the party, founded and registered the organisation called Magyar Gárda "Hungarian Guard", which says in its deed of foundation that it intends to become "part or core" of a national guard to be set up in accordance with the Gabriel Bethlen programme, and it also wishes to participate actively "in strengthening national self-defence" and "maintaining public order" as well as supporting and organising social and charity missions, in disaster prevention and civil defence. The foundation of the Guard was accompanied by sharp political debate.
On 10 March 2008 three leading figures resigned from the party: founding president Dávid Kovács, committee chairman Ervin Nagy, and former ethics committee chairman Márton Fári. They named the Hungarian Guard as the cause of their resignation, stating that "Jobbik has been merged inseparably with the Guard, taking responsibility for something that it cannot really control in the long run".
On 2 July 2009 the Metropolitan Court of Appeal (Fővárosi Ítélőtábla) disbanded the Hungarian Guard Movement because the court held that its activities attacked the human rights of minorities guaranteed by the Constitution of Hungary. The Guard has attempted to reorganize itself as a civil service association, the Magyar Gárda Foundation, engaged in cultural and nation building activities rather than politics. Its renewed activities are opposed by the Hungarian authorities and prosecutors claim that the founding of the new organization is in contempt of previous court rulings.
After several schisms, the organization has largely ceased activity. On January 28, 2017, some radical members of Magyar Gárda held a demonstration against Gábor Vona outside Jobbik's year-opening event. Participants denounced the new politics of Jobbik as a betrayal of the right wing.
Moderating the party
Before the 2014 parliamentary elections a new political trend, the so-called néppártosodás (transition to a people's party) appeared in Jobbik. The party adopted a new style of communication while reversing many radical elements of its earlier program. Jobbik leaders declared that it has turned from a radical right-wing party into a moderate conservative people's party. President Gábor Vona, in an interview, promised to "cut the wildlings", the one-time radicals.
In 2016, the party pursued its strategy of de-demonization by abandoning parts of its original ideological corpus and excluding certain extremist elements, in order to make its image more respectable and incarnate a credible opposition to the conservative government of Viktor Orbán. Despite Jobbik's pledges, particularly to the Jewish community in Hungary, many left-wing intellectuals and political figures say they want to keep their distance from an organization deemed as undemocratic. On the contrary philosopher Ágnes Heller considers that it is necessary to ally with all opposition parties, including Jobbik, to defeat the Orbán's Fidesz. Heller says that Jobbik has never been a neo-Nazi party, although she described them as far-right and racist. At the local level, however, implicit alliances were formed between left-wing parties and Jobbik in partial municipal elections to defeat the ruling-government's party.
Although the party is commonly described as far-right by observers and in the international press, some media now consider that it's more difficult to classify Jobbik as it currently stands on the far-right, because of its de-demonization and Fidesz's ever-increasing right-wingisation rhetoric, or even that Jobbik is currently a right-wing party.
The Jobbik's strategy, moving away from its far-right roots and staking out a more centrist position, has also resulted in the emergence of more radical dissident formations, like the new party Force and Determination and Our Homeland Movement.
Due to the disillusioning of young people because no-perspectives, decreasing living conditions and frustrating level of state corruption, popularity of Jobbik skyrocketed among younger generations. Since 2014 Jobbik consciously tried to address young people that are disappointed with other parties. As a result of its youth policy Jobbik's popularity has risen to a never seen level. According to an international survey, conducted in 2016, 53 percent of the young Hungarians aged between 18 and 35 years would vote for Jobbik.
Crisis after 2018 and cooperation with other opposition parties
Following the 2018 parliamentary election, Gábor Vona resigned, due to his earlier promises that he would resign if he could not lead the party to victory on the elections. Despite rumors that Jobbik would change its policies, the National Board of the party unanimously decided in favor of the moderate right-wing conservative wing. On 12 May 2018 the party elected Tamás Sneider as the president and Márton Gyöngyösi as the executive vice-president of the party. The Hungarian press evaluated the new presidency as a victory of the moderate politicians. Tamás Sneider told he wanted to build a socially conscious party based on the teachings of Christianity.
László Toroczkai who ran for the leadership election against Tamás Sneider and who got 46.2% in the election, he would later tell reporters he had formed a new hardline platform and gave party leaders until June 23 to integrate it in party policy or risk a break-up of Jobbik. He said the platform entailed a return to goals pursued by the original Jobbik, including an end to immigration, stemming emigration of Hungarian youth to the wealthier west of the EU, a tough line on Hungary's Roma minority and support for ethnic Hungarian minorities in neighboring states. In June 2018, Toroczkai and Dóra Dúró would form their own party Our Homeland Movement.
On November 7, 2018, László Toroczkai announced to the media news, the Our Homeland Movement party got 3 former Jobbik politicians, István Apáti, Erik Fülöp and János Volner joins to Toroczkai's political party. In 2019, László Toroczkai, the president of the Our Homeland Movement, who was expelled from Jobbik, reorganized the Magyar Gárda. Nowadays, Magyar Gárda belongs to Our Homeland Movement.
On December 12, 2018, the Hungarian Parliament adopted an amendment to the Overtime Act (Often called "Slave Law" by the opposition) on a scandalous session. On this day, representatives of Jobbik, MSZP, LMP, DK and Dialogue in the National Assembly disrupted the legislation by hesitating, shouting, broadcasting and preventing the presidential pulpit from obstructing the vote. Following the parliamentary meeting, mass protests began all over the country, where Jobbik is participating together with the other opposition parties. Following the demonstrations, left-wing politicians, including the President of the Hungarian Socialist Party Bertalan Tóth, suggested that opposition parties, including Jobbik, should run on a common list at the European Parliament elections.
Jobbik participated in the 2019 European Parliament election as a separate list. In these elections the party lost more than half of its support. These elections probably motivated the party to collaborate with others. In 2019 local elections the party in most parts of Hungary joined common lists with MSZP, DK, Dialogue and Momentum (in some cases, with local parties also). Due to this, Jobbik candidates (who stood as independents) managed to win mayorships in Eger and Dunaújváros or retained ones it held before (e. g. Törökszentmiklós).
Jobbik was a founding member of the Alliance of European National Movements, alongside the French National Front, the Ukrainian Svoboda, Italy's Tricolour Flame, the British National Party, the Swedish National Democrats, the Finnish Blue and White Front, the Portuguese National Renovator Party, and the Spanish Republican Social Movement. Its membership ended in February 2016 when Jobbik cut its affiliation with AENM.
As of 2018[update], Jobbik had ties to the Conservative People's Party of Estonia, the Bulgarian United Patriots, the Latvian National Alliance, the Polish National Movement, the Indian Bharatiya Janata Party, the Russian Rodina, and the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party
Jobbik has proposed joining the European People's Party, but was rejected in August 2018.
During its period as a far-right party, Jobbik has strenuously denied allegations of anti-semitism or racism, as being either politically motivated or simply false. It has also dismissed the criticism of perceived anti-semitism, racism and homophobia as the "favourite topics" of the political opponents. Even so, the movement has been accused of playing on those fears.
Comments by members
On the eve of the 2009 elections to the European parliament, a comment was posted on an unofficial and unverified Hungarian political internet forum, allegedly in the name of Krisztina Morvai, who then headed the party's electoral list. Addressing their remarks to Hungarian Jews the comment poster stated that they "would be glad if the so-called proud Hungarian Jews went back to playing with their tiny circumcised dicks instead of vilifying me." News of this comment, which has been roundly condemned, spread rapidly around the world and eventually even featured in an article by The Economist. Morvai's critics have pointed to her refusal to even discuss the issue, let alone deny it; implying that this is sufficient to ascribe authorship of the remarks to her.
Her supporters however, claim that though she certainly has a record of being critical of the state of Israel given a sympathy for the Palestinian cause she developed while working as an international human rights lawyer, the idea of Morvai being an anti-Semite is "simply ridiculous," given that at the time of her alleged remarks she was married to a Hungarian of Jewish origin, with whom she has three children, but from whom she is now separated.
In a newsletter published by a group calling itself "The trade union of Hungarian police officers prepared for action", the following was allegedly printed: "Given our current situation, anti-Semitism is not just our right, but it is the duty of every Hungarian homeland lover, and we must prepare for armed battle against the Jews." The editor of the union, Judit Szima, was a Jobbik candidate in the upcoming election for the European Union parliament. Haaretz alleged Szima "didn't see anything wrong with the content of the article." Cooperation between Jobbik and the trade union led by Szima was dismantled in 2010 and since then there is no affiliation between them.
During spring 2012, Jobbik representative in Hungarian parliament Zsolt Baráth caused an outrage by commemorating 1882 blood libel against the Jews in Parliament. The Tiszaeszlár blood libel, found later to be unrelated to Jews, was known as first major anti-Jewish event in modern Hungary, predating the Holocaust. The speech of Baráth caused controversy among Jobbik MPs: some - however finding it inappropriate and uncalled for - stated that in a matured democracy there should not be taboo topics, while leaders of the Jobbik Parliamentary Group told the media that they had evaluated the speech and learnt the lesson that they should care more about what their MPs say. After the incident Baráth was not re-elected and is no longer an MP of Jobbik.
In November 2012, while evaluating the latest news on the controversial Israeli military action in the Gaza strip, the party's deputy parliamentary leader, Márton Gyöngyösi, stated in his speech in the Parliament: "I think such a conflict makes it timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian government, who, indeed, pose a national security risk to Hungary." Márton Gyöngyösi admitted immediately after his speech that he had composed his sentence wrongly, as he thought of MPs with Israeli-Hungarian double citizenship and not of Jewish people. At the same time Gyöngyösi offered an apology. As Al Jazeera reported, the incident led to "international condemnation of Nazi-style policies and a protest outside the legislature in Budapest. Around ten thousand Hungarians in Budapest protested against Gyöngyösi's anti-Semitic remarks. All major Hungarian political parties took part in the protest. At the protest, Attila Mesterházy the leader of the successor of the state party of the communist era, the Hungarian Socialist Party, described Jobbik as a "fascist possessions virus", while 5th district of Budapest mayor Antal Rogán, representing the governing Fidesz party, described Jobbik as "evil". Jewish organizations responded to Gyöngyösi speech by describing it as a reintroduction of Nazism in Hungarian parliament and by describing Jobbik as a Nazi party.
In 2014 Tibor Ágoston, the deputy chairman of Jobbik's Debrecen and Hajdú-Bihar County organization, referred to the Holocaust as the "holoscam". Tamás Horovitz, the chairman of the Debrecen Jewish Congregation and the mayor of Debrecen, Lajos Kósa, condemned Ágoston's remarks. Later Ágoston harshly criticized Gábor Vona for not supporting Előd Novák and cutting ties with the so-called "radicals" in the party.
In 2015 deputy leader Előd Novák posted to his social media account on Facebook a picture of himself and his family next to a separate image of Rikardo Racz, the first newborn in Hungary of the year who was born to a Romani family. In a comment on the pictures, he stated that the population of Hungarians would become a minority and suggested that the Romani population is the biggest problem facing Hungary. Novák's remarks were both condemned and supported. Novák would later respond to the issue by refusing to apologize and suggested that the family should apologize to him. Előd Novák was forced by the party's parliamentary group to resign from his position as an MP in 2016. Now, he is a vocal critic of Jobbik's new policies.
World Jewish Congress Protest
On 4 May 2013, Jobbik members protested against the World Jewish Congress in Budapest, claiming the protest was against "a Jewish attempt to buy up Hungary". Jobbik MP Enikő Hegedűs vociferously condemned both Israel and Jews at the rally as her husband, Lóránt Hegedűs Jr., stood nearby. An ordained minister in the Reformed Church in Hungary, Lóránt Hegedűs himself had served in the National Assembly as an MP of the far-right nationalist Hungarian Justice and Life Party from 1998 to 2002. He invited Holocaust denier David Irving to his Budapest church in 2007 as a "special guest", and has also been accused of anti-Semitism on several occasions for statements he has made about Jews at Jobbik events. At a 2011 rally, he claimed that Jews orchestrated World War II and controlled the international media, and a year prior had alleged that the Hungarian government was secretly cooperating with Mossad to facilitate an Israeli takeover of Hungary with the assistance of Hungarian Jews and mainstream churches. After his wife's statement regarding the World Jewish Congress, the Reformed Church launched an inquiry into the minister's conduct, with presiding bishop Gusztáv Bölcskei denouncing Hegedűs's activism for Jobbik as "permanent provocation" which was incompatible with scripture.
President of Jobbik Gábor Vona later stated that he had criticized Zionism as a political idea, and pointed out that he understood the Hungarian Jewish community had to survive such traumas during the 20th century that make dialogue very hard. At the same time, he emphasized that he wanted to have harmonic relations with the Hungarian Jewish community.
The "Hanukkah case"
In December 2016 Gábor Vona, besides his Christmas greetings to the nation's churches, as a gesture sent his greetings to his Jewish compatriots on the occasion of the Jewish holidays. The message of Vona raised controversy among Hungarian Jewish communities. Vona had already stated before that those, even party members, who had wanted to see Jobbik as a racist or anti-Semitic party had been wrong. However, Vona took responsibility for turning a blind eye in such situations earlier.
Warnings against "EU Slavery" and ethnic shift in Hungary
Gábor Vona earlier said that, Hungarians became slaves because the European Union had only wanted Hungary to enter the EU because of its cheap workforce. Vona also stated that "the number of Hungarians continues to fall while the gypsy population grows ever larger. This was not racism but a real social and economic problem. Anyone who doesn’t understand this is not normal."
In his 2017 interview, Márton Gyöngyösi, deputy leader of the party's parliamentary group, pointed out that Jobbik seeks for the constructive reform of the European Union. In addition, Gyöngyösi also said that in order to have a more harmonized EU, maybe some national competencies, such as labor conditions and wage regulations can be reconsidered.
Opposition to LGBT+ rights as "sexual deviancy"
Jobbik opposes the expansion of rights for LGBT people as contrary to their Christian-conservative model. The party maintains that the most important social unit is the traditional family. In April 2012, Jobbik tried to introduce a bill into the Hungarian parliament that would change the national constitution to allegedly "protect public morals and the mental health of the young generations" by banning the popularization of "sexual deviancy". The legislation was drafted by party spokesman Ádám Mirkóczki. This was to target "homosexuality, sex changes, transvestitism, bisexuality and paedophile behaviour". The proposed amendments would criminalise anyone who "popularizes their sexual relations—deviancy—with another person of the same sex, or other disturbances of sexual behaviour, before the wider public". The penalty would be three years in prison, or five years if 'popularizing' is done in front of minors. The draft legislation ultimately failed to pass. Jobbik has consistently opposed the annual Budapest Gay Pride march, on the grounds that it was “anti-Hungarian and anti-Christian.” In 2014 right-wing protestors affiliated with Jobbik and the 64 Counties movement shouted homophobic remarks and suggested that LGBT persons should be taken to the gas chambers.
Support for Miklós Horthy
In Hungary it is a very important and complex issue to deal with the interwar period and the legacy of the one-time Regent of Hungary, Miklós Horthy. Jobbik, like other right and centre-right parties in Hungary, supports a balanced view, appreciating the positive elements of the consolidation after the World War I and Trianon trauma. On 3 November 2013, Márton Gyöngyösi and other Jobbik members unveiled a bronze bust of Miklós Horthy, a nationalist admiral who served as Regent from 1920 to 1944, in front of the "Church of Homecoming" in downtown Budapest's Liberty Square, where Lóránt Hegedűs serves as pastor. The ceremony drew strong public and official condemnations over the legacy of Horthy, who led Hungary into World War II in 1941 on the side of the Axis powers (which the country had officially joined the previous year). Many Hungarians thus see Horthy as a source of deep national shame and Nazi collaborator, complicit in the murder of half a million Hungarian Jews in the Holocaust in Hungary. Others, however, revere him as a national hero, ostensibly for guiding the country to stability in its chaotic interwar period—at the ceremony, Gyöngyösi proclaimed Horthy "the greatest Hungarian statesman of the 20th century".
Several thousand individuals—some of whom had pinned yellow Stars of David on their clothing came out to protest against the statue, and were met by a smaller crowd of far right protesters near the church who responded with anti-Semitic and racist slurs. Mayor Antal Rogán condemned Jobbik's move as a "political provocation" that would allow the "western European left-wing press" to unfairly characterise Hungary as being plagued by anti-Semitic extremists. Hegedűs, who had already hung a portrait of Horthy by his church's entrance well prior to the statue's installation, defended Horthy's legacy to journalists after the unveiling, calling it "unjust and historically wrong" to implicate the former leader in crimes against humanity because he was suspected not prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials. In light of the furore over the statue, church officials announced they would launch another official probe into Hegedűs's political activities.
Growth and electoral success
The party faced its first electoral test with the coming of the 2009 European parliamentary elections. The election's results shocked their opponents: with the party sending three MEPs to Strasbourg; coming close to equal in number of votes with the governing Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) while eliminating their liberal coalition partner Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), to become the nation's third largest party.
In London on 16 May 2008, the delegation of Jobbik's Committee of Foreign Affairs met Nick Griffin, chairman of the British National Party. They discussed cooperation between the two parties, and the elections for the European Parliament. Griffin spoke at the party rally in August 2008, while former vice-president Zoltán Füzessy is presently resident in Gravesend, Kent, England.
The Alliance of European National Movements (AENM) was formed in Budapest on 24 October 2009. The alliance's founding members were Jobbik (the Alliance was established during their sixth party congress), France's National Front, UK's British National Party Italy's Tricolour Flame, Sweden's National Democrats and Belgium's National Front. Since January 2014 Béla Kovács has been its president. Since then Jobbik officially quit AENM and cut all ties with the members of the alliance.
On 12 April 2015, Jobbik's Lajos Rig defeated the Fidesz candidate in a parliamentary by-election in Veszprém County. It was the second by-election lost by Fidesz after the national 2014 elections, leaving the ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition two short of the parliamentary supermajority (kétharmad).
On 14 March 2017 Jobbik started close cooperation with Bulgarian VMRO, Estonian Conservative People's Party and Croatian GO! as well as with trade unions, such as the Polish Solidarność 80, in the framework of the Wage Union European Citizens' Initiative.
2014 Hungarian parliamentary elections
In November 2013, the party leader Gábor Vona, expressed optimism about the election saying that the party planned "no less than election victory in 2014". He argued that Jobbik candidates had been faring well in local elections and that opinion surveys had showed that Jobbik was the most popular party among voters aged under 35. The party has prepared its election programme dubbed "We'll say it, we'll solve it," which focuses on guaranteeing people a livelihood, safety and order. Vona said his party would initiate a referendum on protecting Hungarian land and on amending Hungary's European Union accession treaty.
|Election||Votes||Seats||Rank||Government||Leader of the|
0 / 386
47 / 386
|47||3rd||in opposition||Gábor Vona|
23 / 199
|24||3rd||in opposition||Gábor Vona|
26 / 199
|3||2nd||in opposition||Gábor Vona|
|Election year||# of overall votes||% of overall vote||# of overall seats won||+/-||Notes|
3 / 22
3 / 21
1 / 21
- † 2009 Seat winners:
2019 Seat winner:
Mayoral, the last elections was in 2019:
- Balatonalmádi - Dr. Lajos Kepli (since 2019)
- Dunaújváros - Tamás Pintér (since 2019)
- Eger - Ádám Mirkóczki (since 2019)
- Encs - Gergely Mikola (since 2019)
- Jászberény - Lóránt Budai (since 2019)
- Kisherend - Zsolt Varga (since 2016)
- Ózd – Dávid Janiczak (since 2014)
- Szentes - Zoltán Ferenc Szabó (since 2019)
- Tapolca – Zoltán Dobó (since 2014)
- Törökszentmiklós - Imre Markót (since 2014)
History of leaders
|Image||Name||Entered office||Left office||Length of Leadership|
|1||Dávid Kovács||24 October 2003||25 November 2006||3 years, 1 month and 1 day|
|2||Gábor Vona||25 November 2006||12 May 2018||11 years, 5 months and 17 days|
|3||Tamás Sneider||12 May 2018||25 January 2020||1 year, 8 months and 13 days|
|4||Péter Jakab||25 January 2020||present||1 year, 4 months and 23 days|
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The other case, which drew the attention of the public, is the country‐wide cross erecting "actions" of JOBBIK Party during Christmas, which started in 2003... Several Christian intellectual groups have disapproved these actions; however, no clear objection appeared from the churches against the political appropriation of the religious symbol.
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Jobbik strongly denies that it is anti-Semitic and has condemned the Holocaust. "We are not against anyone, just for Hungary," its leaders say.
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Jobbik denies accusations of racism or anti-Semitism
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When confronted at his home by the newspaper, Mr Fuzessy insisted he was not claiming benefits in the UK and denied Jobbik was fascist. "My party is radical but it is patriotic, not nationalist," he said. "Millions in Hungary support us. Those who call us Nazis are just communists."
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The party is embroiled in legal action against the liberal Free Democrats, which recently branded the party as "Neo-Nazi", a label which Jobbik vigorously denies.
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