Monday, 8 June 2009

EU parlament elections: Increasing nationalist movement in Hungary

Yesterday were elections for the European Parlament in Hungary. My father who usually is not too engaged with politics mentioned a conversation in the family, the concerns for the increasing nationalist movement and the urge for many more Hungarians to give their voice for a more democratic and liberal Hungary.

Unfortunately there was only 34.9% voter turnout half an hour before the closure of polling stations. Hungarian Center-Right Opposition Fidesz is ahead in the EU vote with 14 seats or 56.37 percent of votes. More worrying though, Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik), which is considered a radical nationalist party, won three seats or 14.77 percent of votes. Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) got only one seat or 5.3 percent of votes.

"Jobbik leader Gabor Vona said on Sunday that a national front was born and it has won. He said that Jobbik was ready "to take to the streets" to urge early elections in Hungary. Krisztina Morvai, who topped Jobbik's European Parliament list, said that Jobbik was committed to supporting ethnic Hungarian communities in neighboring countries in their efforts for autonomy.(read more)"

I know very little about Hungarian politics so I had to research a little to better understand the different parties. What I found in particular very interesting is the history of Fidesz Party.
Fidesz was founded by young democrats, mainly students, who were persecuted by the communist party and had to meet in small, clandestine groups. The movement became a major force in many areas of modern Hungarian history, engaging itself on every level in the development of a democratic system, its members being active as guardians of fundamental human rights. It was only in the 90's that the party changed its political position from liberal to conservative after disappointing election results in 1994. This certainly brought a divide in the membership and many left to join then more liberal parties.

Wikipedia also mentions that Fidesz is despite being a conservative social democrat party, actually a socially more caring, and more "leftist" in it's social policies than "left-wing" parties...hmm its always somewhere inbetween in the grey shades, isn't it? Oh well who would nowadays expect a clear answer to what the situation is...if you are also interested in Hungarian politics, this seems to be a good site

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