A political party accused of anti-Semitism in Hungary has won its first by-election, raising the prospect of a lurch to the far-Right in Hungarian politics.
Lajos Rig, the candidate from Jobbik, narrowly defeated the Fidesz candidate for the Tapolca seat in western Hungary. Gabor Vona, Jobbik’s leader, described the victory as “historic”.
“The mood in Hungary is for a change in government, and with Jobbik, Hungary finally has the force to change the government,” said a jubilant Mr Vona at a press conference.
Jobbik’s success leaves it vying with the centre-Right Fidesz, led by Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, for control of the Right-wing vote in Hungary.
The party has long been accused of peddling a populist mix of anti-Semitic and anti-gipsy sentiment, and in the run-up to Sunday’s election, Mr Rig shared an article on Facebook accusing Jews of using gipsies as a “biological weapon” against Hungarians.
Jobbik is riding high in the polls, profiting from a sharp slide in the popularity of the once indomitable Fidesz.
The governing party has seen its support wane this year following corruption scandals and a number of unpopular policy proposals including an internet tax. It also lost its majority in the Hungarian parliament in February.
Jobbik, the third largest party in the Hungarian parliament, has tried reach out to new voters by focusing on corruption.
Source: Daily Telegraph