Saturday, January 16, 2010
Hungary's far right launches 2010 election campaign
From: Reuters January 17, 2010
HUNGARY'S right-wing party Jobbik launched its general election campaign, promising to promote local businesses over multinationals and tackle crime which it blames on the large Roma minority.
"Now, at last, radical change can come," Gabor Vona, Jobbik's chairman and its candidate for prime minister told about 3000 people at a rally near Budapest.
"With a stroke of the pen, or rather two, we can put an end to the last 20 years."
Members of the Hungarian Guard, a nationalist organisation dissolved by court order last year for fuelling ethnic tensions and disrupting public order were prominently present dressed in uniform at the rally in a sports arena.
Jobbik, capitalising on discontent over the country's economic crisis, has scored consistently around 10 percent among decided voters in recent polls.
In June 2009, the party won 15 percent of the vote in elections to the European Parliament.A similar result in a general election due in April or May could give Jobbik deputies dozens of seats in the 386-seat Hungarian parliament.
The party has promised to protect local land ownership from foreign buyers and to direct business subsidies to local small businesses rather than multinational corporations.
Jobbik also backs autonomy claims of ethnic Hungarians living in neighbouring countries such as Slovakia and Romania.
Jobbik has said it wants to preserve Hungary's national heritage, to tie welfare benefits to work and to create a special police unit to tackle what it calls "Gypsy crime".
Its programme could increase the ethnic tensions that have plagued Hungary in recent years, analysts say.
Posted by Morgan at 9:00 PM