Budapest, May 30 (MTI) – Gabor Vona, leader of the radical nationalist Jobbik, told a party congress on Saturday that “we wake up every morning ready to govern”.
Vona said that Prime Minster Viktor Orban had already admitted in his state of the nation speech on Friday that the leading challenge to the ruling Fidesz party comes from Jobbik. He said that in the 2018 general election the real contest would be between Fidesz and Jobbik.
“We will win the election; we’ll take a deep breath and then rebuild our country,” he said, emphasising that the political course which Jobbik was taking was in the direction of a people’s party.
The Jobbik leader said the past year had been an election trial. It was already apparent at the start of 2015 that Fidesz had entered into a negative spiral of popularity, he said. The Veszprem by-election result showed that there is a mood for a change in government while the Tapolca by-election proved that a party exists, in the form of Jobbik, which can act as a governing alternative and beat Orban, he added.
He said that he does not underestimate the left wing, but it is clear that the left has suffered from a lack of a programme and from disunity.
For victory, a strong programme and calm force is needed, he said, adding that Orban had begun to see that there is a need to change; “and even he speaks about people-friendly policies.” Vona said this is tantamount to an admission that Fidesz had not pursued such policies in the past. But such an admission would lack credibility since it would be a mere political fancy rather than the genuine article.
On the subject of the policies of a people’s party, he said that it was necessary to speak about this now, since “at the battle front” there would be no time for a tactical consultation.
Vona insisted that Fidesz and the main left-wing opposition Socialist Party are rooted in the 20th century and in a fruitless struggle between them. In the meantime, however, “we live in the 21st century”. He raised the example of the memorial to the victims of the German occupation erected at the Fidesz government’s initiative in Szabadsag Square, saying: “Did we really get any further ahead with the fact that Fidesz built it and the Socialists protested against it?” The country meanwhile, he added, is “going under”, people are leaving and families are destitute.
Jobbik must mobilise the country from out of the 20th century, he said. People must be shown the real fault lines, which are not those that divide right and left but those which divide the 20th and the 21st century, he added.
Vona said he had come out of the trench and was being fired at from both sides. It would be better, he said, if those who see him as a Nazi would also come out of the trench and “have the bravery to say: enough is enough”.
The Jobbik leader said change is painful, but whatever fails to change dies.
“Whoever has a romantic Nazi yearning … has no place in this party,” he said.
Fidesz lawmaker Szilard Nemeth told a news conference on Saturday that the Jobbik leader was misleading people and, “if you will, lying” in the interests of his party.
“Gabor Vona has been all along misleading the members of his own party, members of the Hungarian parliament and the whole country,” he insisted.
He said that Vona, in his address to parliament on Tuesday and in Jobbik’s Saturday congress, insisted that he had never represented the position that Hungary should exit the European Union. But the evidence shows otherwise, Nemeth said, citing a Jobbik press statement from 2012 as well as a public demonstration Jobbik held in the same year, in which Vona stressed that Hungary should quit the EU.
The Fidesz politician added: “You can’t build in Hungary on a policy of lies … This is something we by now know very well ever since the days of Ferenc Gyurcsany,” he said, referring the former Socialist prime minister.
Nemeth added that Vona had strengthened the impression that his party and he himself were similar to communists and the communist movement.
Socialist deputy leader Istvan Ujhelyi said that both Jobbik and ruling Fidesz had made a “sham” turn towards Europe. In a statement sent to MTI, Ujhelyi said that the two parties were in a “pathetic and phoney” competition to prove they are not anti-EU, while “one fights a war of freedom against the community and suggests that life is possible outside the EU” and the other “burns the EU flag” and advocates quitting Hungary’s EU membership.
Being European means embracing freedom, equality, and solidarity, while both Fidesz and Jobbik openly deny those European values, Ujhelyi insisted.
Photo: MTI, alfahir