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Ferenc Gyurcsany's Democratic Coalition opposes cooperation with radical Jobbik

Vice chair of the opposition Democratic Coalition Csaba Molnár - who is also a MEP - said that he was against cooperation with radical nationalist Jobbik ahead of next year's parliamentary elections. Despite Jobbik's attempts to develop an amicable image, DK still considers it a "racist, discriminative and anti-Semitic party", Molnár told commercial Klubrádió.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's regime must be replaced with a "democratic, normal and liberal left-wing government" and not by a "more extremist right wing one", he added. Out of the 106 individual constituencies, DK has picked its candidates for all except 3 or 4, so negotiations are likely to be completed by the end of this week, he said.
A few hundred members of Hungary's liberal and leftwing political and cultural establishment demonstrated alongside Jobbik supporters in support of democracy and rule of law last Friday.
A "surreal coalition" was how conservative publicist Róbert Puzsér described the crowd that braved inclement weather to protest the State Audit Office (ÁSZ) decision fining right-wing Jobbik HUF 660 million for allegedly accepting "illegal campaign contributions" in the form of heavily discounted billboards belonging to a media company owned by former Fidesz oligarch Lajos Simicska.
A number of Jobbik opponents who previously refused to have anything to do with the radical party joined the ranks of its supporters next to Fidesz headquarters opposite Budapest's Heroes' Square in protest.
Many experts, including a former vice-president of the State Audit Office, consider the decision to be an unlawful, politically motivated attempt to hamstring Jobbik financially in the run-up to the national election due next April or May.

For the first time since the system change of 1989, the State Audit Office has fined a political party for accepting "forbidden campaign contributions." Charged with auditing party finances as well as that of some 700 state organs, state auditors ruled that Jobbik's "You work. They Steal" countrywide billboard campaign amounted to accepting "forbidden campaign contributions" in the amount of HUF 330 million. Authorized by law to assess a fine of up to twice the amount of the offending contribution, ÁSZ ordered that HUF 330 million worth of public campaign funds be withheld from the party in the run-up to next year's election. This is on top of a HUF 330 million fine the party is required to pay within a few weeks.
By law such decisions are final and cannot be appealed.
Among those joining the "If it is also of burning importance to you" torchlit march were representatives of the so-called democratic opposition, including Politics Can Be Different (LMP), Momentum and Egyutt (Together) politicians as well as publicist Róbert Puzsér, former LMP co-chair András Schiffer, and civil demonstration organizer Balázs Gulyás, as well as theatre director Árpad Schilling.
LMP presidium member Péter Ungár, the son of Fidesz court revisionist historian Mária Schmidt, told conservative print daily Magyar Nemzet that he considered Jobbik a "very harmful party," though he thought it was necessary to defeat it in elections and "not with administrative means."

Jobbik chairman Gábor Vona wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday that the demonstration was not only about Jobbik but about the defense of democracy.
"We will not allow the corrupt tyrant to completely pillage the country by building a dictatorship!" Vona wrote.

At Friday's demonstration, he told a crowd of some 1,000 that the Hungarian prime minister was only interested in power and football, and was intent on stripping the country of its freedom, all the while portraying himself as a freedom fighter.

"Now we have reached the final bastion in which Viktor Orbán wants to eliminate political parties. And he is starting with none other than the strongest of the opposition parties. Because he says that if I get rid of the strongest one, if I destroy the strongest one among them, then nobody will stand in my way. What is happening now is not a State Audit Office inspection and not an official fine, but a death warrant bearing the name of Jobbik but which is really a death sentence for Hungarian democracy."

Former ÁSZ vice-president László Nyikos took to the stage to denounce the actions of his former agency and to call for the resignation of its current head, former Fidesz MP László Domokos.

"Last week ÁSZ publicly issued a decision regarding an audit it has not completed,"Nyikos said. "It is examining a year that has not yet passed. For this reason, it is not possible to prepare a financial report. In doing so it is neglecting the rules of the international profession it claims on its website to have adopted. It has stepped into the field of struggle between political parties forbidden to it."

Former Hungarian Olympic fencer Tamás Kovács told the crowd that the Orbán government had brought back the spirit of the Rákosi [1948-1956] system by dismantling the rule of law and institutionalizing corruption "instead of using his unprecedented authority to lift up the country."

To chants of "Viktor go home!" Jobbik chairman and parliamentary delegation leader Gábor Vona took to the stage at 5:45 pm. He started by thanking those who turned out despite the bad weather and the traffic, including members of the political opposition and civil society,

"Everyone here today had to conquer his or her own fear," said the Jobbik leader, to which the crowd responded by chanting "we are not afraid."

Vona thanked the thousands of Jobbik supporters who had "thrown together HUF 35 million over the past week in order to confront" the State Audit Office decision to fine the radical rightwing party HUF 660 million.

"I realize that here today are people representing many different viewpoints, and that doesn't bother me. Frankly, I'm happy for it. Because despite all of that, there is a reason all of us are here. I think I know what the greatest common denominator is, and that is nothing but the greatest treasure for Hungarians, and that is the love of freedom."

The Jobbik leader explained that dissension rather than solidarity was characteristic of Hungarian history, but that when the country's freedom was at stake "we were able to overcome our differences and stand up for one another.

"It is not by happenstance that Viktor Orbán plays the role of the freedom fighter. He always says that an external threat is trying to deprive Hungary of freedom, and that we need to struggle against it. If not, then he paints one for us on the wall. He is always struggling and struggling, and flatters and flatters. Meanwhile, he employs every sly, base trick. He steals into our garden at night and steals our domestic freedom. What he is basically offering is the following: I won't allow terrorists to enter the country, and in exchange, you will be my slave. But we were never slaves to anyone. We will not be Viktor Orbán's slaves."

The audience reacted by chanting "Orbán scram!"

Vona then proceeded to tell the audience that Viktor Orbán had slyly deprived the country of its freedom in a step by step manner.

"First, public funds lose their public quality. Then the free press loses its free press quality. Then the referendum loses the referendum quality. Then the entrepreneurial freedom loses its freedom quality." The Jobbik leader cited private property, university autonomy, and civil society independence as qualities that had been lost.

"And now we have arrived to the final bastion, where Viktor Orbán wants to do away with opposition parties, starting with nothing other than the strongest opposition party. He says that if I can rid myself or destroy the strongest among them, then nobody will stand in my way.

"What is happening is not a State Audit Office inspection or an official fine, but a death warrant bearing the name of Jobbik, which in reality sentences Hungary democracy to death. We came here today to protest this."

Asking rhetorically why Orbán and his government had focused on "destroying democracy" rather than righting the country's many problems, including education and health care, the Jobbik leader concluded that the reason is that Orbán "isn't interested in anything but power and football."

The radical rightwing politician, who has labored mightily over the past few years to remake his party as a center-right people's party, observed that his generation had not experienced communist dictatorship first-hand. "For us it was just history. Perhaps we were naive or irresponsible to believe that it couldn't happen again. Now we've been given a wreath."

Remarking that the 150th anniversary of the historic compromise between Austria and Hungary that ushered in an unprecedented period of economic, social and cultural development had gone without mention by the government, Vona explained that the reason is Orbán does not believe in compromise.

Calling Friday's demonstration a "turning point," Vona said it was not those in attendance who were afraid but rather Orbán.

"Everything Viktor Orbán does reminds us of the desperate grasping of a despot," said Vona, who preceded to assure the audience that Orbán would fail in his "attempt to turn Hungary into a dictatorship."

Vona then used the occasion to present his political credo, according to which both the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) and Fidesz are "stuck in the 20th century," which was not about solidarity but rather "if you have a different opinion, then you are my enemy and I must crush you underfoot.

"We have to step out of this, for we were also in it. We cannot undo what happened in the 20th century. We cannot mend the wounds. All we can do is remember and respect."

The Jobbik leader cautioned about looking backward. "We won't find what we're looking for in the past. We need to turn our attention to the future because I believe we are capable of collectively building this country in the 21st century.

"Viktor Orbán is nothing other than the grand master of division. The symbol of the 20th century. Viktor Orbán is the past. We are the future. We are the 21st century.

"We don't have to love each other. We don't have to agree with each other. It's enough if we accept each other and agree that it is possible to have common goals. I believe we are fated to accomplish this, to mutually build the country and protect our sovereignty from domestic and foreign opponents.

"I believe today many different people collectively took a step towards a just, respectable, and free 21st-century Hungary."

In his speech, former Hungarian Olympic fencer Tamás Kovács described the "politically divided" nation at the end of 2017 as follows:

"One part of the country believes in the war on utility costs, the better functioning state, the growing economy, rejecting the government's corruption, and the enrichment of people close to members of the government. At the same time, the other part would be happy to see certain government leaders, members, and servants on trial and in prison primarily for corruption, impoverishment, the enrichment of its circle of friends, and the departure of youth for abroad."

By far the most interesting speech was delivered by conservative publicist Róbert Puzsér. He said the surreal spectacle of liberal and leftwing personalities attending a Jobbik rally was "better suited for a Tim Burton film than the Lendvai street."

Puzsér called surreal a country where "Viktor Orbán would make himself emperor with 44 percent of the vote" and where "a gas pipe fitter from Felcsüt gets richer faster than Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk."

"Hungarian society is not even capable of coming together to defend rule of law, democracy, and European identity," he said. "We Hungarians have a huge tendency to notice that which divides us and what enables us to exclude others either from Hungary or Europe." He said that in "certain matters it is necessary for us to cooperate" but that for this it was necessary to agree on "certain political and cultural minimums."

He said those attending the protest were creating a new precedent.

"If we repeat this precedent a few more times and it becomes a social experience, then Orbán's system's days are numbered and citizens will reject his feudalism," said Puzsér, adding that "pettiness, tribal hatred, our inability to criticize and renew ourselves is what maintains the oppression."
Source: MTI; budapestbeacon.com

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 December 2017 13:15

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