Budapest (MTI) – The candidate of the radical nationalist Jobbik party Lajos Rig had a narrow lead over its Fidesz-Christian Democrat opponent Zoltan Fenyvesi in the Tapolca by-election in western Hungary on Sunday evening, with 99.13 percent of the votes counted.
The result is not yet final because votes will not be counted in one of the election districts tonight. The ballots cast there will be mixed with the ones cast in Hungary’s representation offices abroad.
The number of voters turning up for the ballot in this district exceeded the gap between the two candidates.
Rig scored 35.27 percent of the votes ahead of Fenyvesi (34.38 percent), Ferenc Pad, the joint candidate of the Socialists, the Democratic Coalition and the Hungarian Solidarity Movement (26.27 percent) and Barbara Sallee of the green LMP party (2.05 percent).
The final result is expected to be announced on Thursday.
Jobbik leader Gabor Vona hailed the result as a “historic victory”, stating that this was the first time that a political party which was not part of the “deceived and embezzled change in regime” won a parliamentary mandate in an individual constituency. If Jobbik managed to get this mandate in western Hungary, “it is worth pondering about what the situation could be in eastern Hungary,” he added, referring to his party’s stronghold.
Fidesz leader and Prime Minister Viktor Orban thanked for the efforts of Fenyvesi and Fidesz-KDNP’s activists on his Facebook page and said “there are instances when the ball rebounds from the goal-post”.
Socialist leader Jozsef Tobias said the outcome of the by-election shows that a new situation has emerged in Hungarian politics. Fidesz must now make it clear whether it stands on the side of democracy in which there are rivalries and disputes, but dedication to European values and respect for human lives and values are never questioned, he added. He said Fidesz would be unable to shape the future if it fails to dissociate itself from lawmakers who make openly anti-Semitic and anti-Roma remarks.
The by-election was held to decide who takes up the parliamentary mandate of Jeno Lasztovicza, of the ruling Fidesz party, who died in January 2015.