The leader of Hungary’s far-right political party JOBBIK, Gabor Vona, is preparing to oust the ruling party Fidesz in the elections in 2018 as he aims to steer the party from the far-right to the centre in an effort to gain the votes of the Hungarian people.
Speaking at the party's congress in Budapest on Saturday, Vona said, “In 2018 people will have to choose between Fidesz and Jobbik.”
JOBBIK is known as a far-right and anti-capitalist party in Hungary with an ideology based on establishing a Greater Hungary.
In the 2010 elections, JOBBIK got 16.7 percent of the votes and in 2014 the party strengthened its grip on Hungarian politics winning 18 percent.
The ruling party Fidesz got 48 percent of votes in 2014 elections, which earned them that has 131 seats in the National Assembly. Opposition parties Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) on its part got 39 seats, and JOBBIK came third with 24 seats.
According to a Tarki poll last month, Fidesz - the ruling party of Hungary - currently has 23 percent support and JOBBIK has 14 percent, with 40 percent of voters undecided.
A report published by the Hungarian Spectrum states that racism is rising in Hungary and there is not much different between the ruling party led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban and JOBBIK under the leadership of Gabor Vona, because Orban’s Fidesz is also an ultra-conservative party.
Before the last elections, Fidesz proposed ten measures “in the name of the people” that would constitute their first tasks once in power. Since then, Fidesz has fulfilled eight out of the ten, including responding to demands for lower taxes, to save the Forex debtors, and to nationalise utility companies, thus decreasing utility costs.
However, these promises also overlapped with the to-do-list of JOBBIK, Hungarian Spectrum reported.
Jobbik has in the past been criticised as an anti-Semitic party, having described Jewish people as a “national security risk.”
Protesting against the World Jewish Congress in 2013 in Budapest, Vona said “The Israeli conquerors, these investors, should look for another country in the world for themselves because Hungary is not for sale.”
However, in an effort to move the ultra-nationalist party to the centre-right Vona distanced himself from a party member who called for the murder of Roma and ordered another JOBBIK member to take flowers to a Holocaust memorial in Budapest as a punishment for spitting on it.
JOBBIK, a Eurosceptic party, adheres to an ideology known as Pan-Turanism - a movement promoting the Hungarian identity as part of a wider Ural-Altaic family that covers much of central and northern Asia as well as eastern Europe.
JOBBIK’s aims to return Hungary’s borders to pre-Trianon Treaty which was signed in 1920 between most of the Allies of World War I - The Entente Powers - and the Kingdom of Hungary.
Vona has also declared his aim to get autonomy for Szekely Land - a region home to around 500-600,000 ethnic Hungarians in Romania.