HUNGARY | Vona says Jobbik to “strike back” after year of attacks and sliding poll numbers
Source: politics.hu Thursday, 20 December 2012, 18:18
The radical nationalist Jobbik party was under constant attacks in 2012 but it “will strike back vigorously if this base campaign continues,” party leader Gabor Vona told MTI in an interview assessing the past year.
The opposition leader admitted that the year fell short of the party’s expectations. Citing public opinion polls, Vona noted that Jobbik had been the winner of 2011 but that trend seemed to be broken this year.
Jobbik’s successes last year had “scared political opponents” and prompted them to exert growing pressure on the party which generated internal conflicts, he said.
An Ipsos poll conducted in early December showed Jobbik to have 6 percent support in the whole electorate, the lowest level since early 2011. It also revealed that Jobbik was backed by 14 percent of committed voters.
Vona accused both the ruling Fidesz and the main opposition Socialists of attempts at annihilating his party, adding that those who portray Jobbik as a “Nazi, extremist force” only try to dodge genuine debates.
Asked about plans for 2013, Vona said that Jobbik would hold forums in busy public places to address even those who are not sympathising with it.
The party will duly perform its parliamentary duties, he said, but “there is room for politics in the streets as well”.
With voter registration starting in September, 2013 will already be a year of election campaign, Vona said, adding that his party would focus on five priorities:
- putting the economy back on its feet, mainly through job creation
- consolidating public security through establishing a gendarmerie force
- protecting Hungary’s sovereignty, preventing with a referendum the sale of arable land to foreigners and the formation of a United States of Europe
- drafting a new strategy for health care
- preventing the government’s efforts to sweep the issue of “Hungarian-Roma co-existence” under the carpet, finding a Roma social stratum which feels responsibility for the rise of the community.
Addressing foreign policy issues, Vona stressed the need of a shift in ties with Turkey and Russia, which he called two nations of strategy importance, along with Germany.