Politics

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Miskolc earlier this month. Photo: Facebook.

Hungary’s prime minister shamelessly calls for death penalty

Ever since the governing Fidesz party’s defeat in the Tapolca by-election to the far-right, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been shamelessly scrambling to appease and win back the support of those who voted for Jobbik. A few days ago, I wrote about the Orbán’s government overtly xenophobic “national consultation,” where a series of loaded questions suggest that immigration and terrorism […]

by · April 29, 2015 · Politics
Hungarian immigrants in Québec in the 1920s, before heading west, to the prairies. Source: Department of the Interior photographic records / Collections Canada.

Demonizing immigrants — Here’s why Hungary’s Fidesz is no less dangerous than Jobbik

There is a very common misconception in the West that Fidesz is somehow the lesser of two evils when it comes to the Hungarian right and the rising fortunes of the far-right Jobbik. Nothing could be further from the truth. For Fidesz, the only thing that counts is political expediency. To some extent, being effective politically, and thus being ideologically […]

by · April 25, 2015 · Politics
Illustration: Jon Herr.

Fidesz and the language of love and unity

How can one use the language of “love,” “cooperation” and “unity” to bring masses of people into a frenzy and to make them obedient? András Göllner, the founder of the Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter, explores this question in an essay published in HFP’s sister paper, the Kanadai Magyar Hírlap (KMH). For those HFP readers who are proficient in Hungarian, we strongly […]

by · April 24, 2015 · Politics
Gellért Rajcsányi, assistant editor at Mandiner.hu. Photo source: National Audio-Visual Archive / Nemzeti Audiovizuális Archívum.

Gellért Rajcsányi: Hungary’s Fidesz has lost its buoyancy — Can it ever recover?

Based on the results of the recent Tapolca by-election (although no longer concentrating directly on this vote), one can argue that this is yet another sign that Fidesz has lost its political buoyancy. And it’s possible that the party, in this current form and in this construction, won’t ever be able to get it back. If it searches for different avenues, […]

by · April 21, 2015 · Politics
Hungarian soldiers undergo training. Photo: honvedelem.hu / Sándor Galambos.

Hungary sends troops to fight ISIS

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) joined Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz and the Christian Democratic Peoples’ Party (KDNP) in voting to send 150 soldiers into Iraq, in order to bolster the American-led campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). While Fidesz, KDNP and DK supported the mission, the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), the Politics Can Be Different (LMP) green party, the […]

by · April 14, 2015 · Politics
Lajos Rig scoops up critical Tapolca riding for the far-right Jobbik party. Photo: Lajos Rig's Facebook page.

Far-right Jobbik set to win key Hungarian by-election

Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party put aside its usual antisemitic and anti-Roma rhetoric, campaigning instead on an anti-corruption platform. This strategy paid off, with the party’s candidate appearing to win in a critical by-election held in western Hungary’s Tapolca riding, long dominated by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party. With 98% of the votes counted (approximately 500 votes cast at embassies […]

by · April 12, 2015 · Politics
László Lengyel. Photo: MTI / László Beliczay

Interfering in personal lives of Hungarians will lead to Orbán’s demise

Political scientist László Lengyel gave an excellent interview this weekend to Hungary’s left-centre Népszava daily. The chat, with Népszava’s Tamás Bihari, began with a comparison to Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book and to the king of the jungle, Shere Khan. Mr. Lengyel had previously referred to Viktor Orbán as a tiger, and as the merciless king of the jungle. “Between 2010 […]

by · April 4, 2015 · Politics
Mr. Balázs Fürjes (right) Hungarian Government Commissioner, Eugene F. Megyesy, Jr., Hungarian-American lawyer and advisor of Mr. Orbán, Ambassador Szapáry and Senator Menendez (left wearing striped tie) at the Rubik’s exhibition.

Senator Menendez – corruption charges and Hungarian friends

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez was indicted on federal corruption charges. A 61-year-old Democrat, Mr. Menendez was charged with eight counts of bribery, conspiracy, fraud, and making false statements on government documents. He is the first senator to face federal bribery charges since another New Jersey Democrat, Harrison Williams was indicted in 1980, almost a quarter century ago. Menendez has […]

by · April 3, 2015 · Politics
TEK has effectively been spying on President János Áder.

The Hungarian president no longer trusts Orbán’s secret service

The Orbán regime’s infamous Counter Terrorism Centre (Terrorelhárítási Központ, TEK) has reportedly fallen out of favour with President János Áder. The president, who is a Fidesz politician previously charged with developing the country’s new, controversial electoral system, recently decided to engage the Operational Police (Készenléti Rendőrség) for his personal security needs, even though this is a role that would normally […]

by · March 28, 2015 · Politics
Mr. Orbán drives away... Photo: Facebook.

Calls for Orbán’s resignation: In Quaestor scandal, all roads lead to Fidesz

The usually splintered Hungarian left-centre opposition is now rallying around the possibility of holding a vote of non-confidence in parliament, after it surfaced that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán ordered government ministries and departments to withdraw funds from the recently collapsed Quaestor brokerage firm, days before it went bankrupt. Mr. Orbán claimed that it was after the Buda Cash scandal that he […]

by · March 27, 2015 · Politics