Vona: Viktor Orbán's fall is just a question of time

Of all Hungarian parties, Jobbik has the best chance to replace the Orbán government in 2018 and to demonstrate its credibility in contrast with the current cabinet’s lack of credibility, Jobbik’s president and Prime Minister candidate stated in his press conference held for foreign journalists in Budapest on Monday.

Mr Vona also asserted that the 2018 elections were going to be decided between Fidesz and Jobbik. He called his party the most stable force in opposition. Noting that there were internal debates within his organization, he pointed out that such cases are common in a people’s party but their overall unity is unquestionable. He also explained that while the results of polls conducted by different institutes could vary slightly, the overall numbers clearly showed that Jobbik was the most popular party in the under-35 age group, and they had a strong position in terms of rejection rate as well.

Talking about the competitive edge his party may have over the others, Jobbik’s Prime Minister candidate said they had a real programme, unlike the leftist parties which could only respond to Orbánism with anti-Orbánism. Mr Vona expressed his view that Fidesz was a very strong opponent so Jobbik would need to show strength and credibility against them. “We need to conduct an honest, correct and truthful policy; we must step out of Viktor Orbán’s matrix,” he asserted.

Jobbik is also preparing for governance

Discussing potential alliances, the president clearly stated that his party was not going to make an election alliance with the leftist parties. He added that if they did so, they would destroy Jobbik’s credibility. Explaining the party’s position on this matter, Mr Vona said Jobbik did not need an election alliance at all: strong parties did not seek tactical cooperation with other parties but reached out to the citizens directly. He also expressed his feeling that the leftist parties did not really want to get into power; their internal debates and deals were basically power struggles aiming to secure their positions after the expected defeat in 2018.

Photo: Balázs Béli

Jobbik’s Prime Minister candidate emphasized that Hungary was characterized by a growing anti-government sentiment and people were actually looking for the force that could offer an alternative. He also noted that his party was already preparing for governing Hungary after their victory in the elections. Calling Viktor Orbán a fallen politician, he added that the PM’s “fall was just a question of time”.

Jobbik leaves the 20th century behind and enters the 21st century

“Contrary to Fidesz’ anti-democratic and corrupt government, we are preparing for a national people’s party governance. It is our slogan, too: we are for the people. What we need is not an intensification of political or ideological divides and social conflicts but the reinforcement of our nation’s unity,” he stated.  Talking about the significant and important differences compared to the agendas of the leftist parties, Mr Vona explained that Jobbik’s vision sets out an inevitable and complete paradigm shift in Hungary’s political life. However, he did point out that such a shift would not mean getting rid of everything. Jobbik wishes to retain certain things that the Fidesz government was doing right. As specific examples, he mentioned the government’s pro-family measures and strict budgetary policy. Jobbik is going to retain and even improve both.

On the other hand, the future Jobbik government would lay inter-party relations on new foundations and focus on real, constructive debates instead of pointless and infertile quarrels. Furthermore, they would build bridges between the social groups divided and turned against each other. In Mr Vona’s view, these are the two things that actually separate 21st century policy from that of the 20th century. Explaining that Hungary and our society had suffered a lot in the 20th century, he noted that these historical ordeals had split the nation many times and into many groups, too. Jobbik’s Prime Minister candidate believes that 20th-century political parties can be best recognized by their capitalizing on 20th-century divisions and historical trauma, which they have intensified into paranoia, obsession and hatred, thus reinforcing the existing splits.

“21st-century policy does not pretend as if these social divisions did not exist, it acknowledges their existence but does not rely on them in its policy. Instead, it tries to find common causes so that we could build bridges over these gaps,” Mr Vona said. Adding that Jobbik had grown from a 20th-century party into a 21st-century one, he said this process was manifested by Jobbik’s progress into a people’s party. He thinks it’s more important where Jobbik is going than where it is coming from. Talking about the party’s most important goals, he said they wanted to improve people’s living standards, that is why their programme’s cornerstone was the wage union initiative, the declaration of which  was signed on March 14 by the representatives of eight Eastern Central European countries.

Jobbik to promote the nation and a stronger Europe

Mr Vona also pointed out that their Citizens’ Initiative was the first one launched by a Hungarian party and registered by the European Commission. So Jobbik and its allies now have one year to collect the one million statements of support. The Prime Minister candidate also talked about how pro-government politicians first had a meltdown on hearing the news that the European Commission registered the initiative, and then they began to make half-baked statements.

“They are trying to find excuses to contradict things that were never even in the initiative. Their most common counter-argument is that wage gaps cannot be reduced overnight. But we never said that or wrote it in the text of the initiative,” Mr Vona explained, adding the reactions clearly showed that their political opponents hadn’t even read the motion.

Photo: Balázs Béli

What Jobbik wants to achieve is that, as a “0th step of the process”, the principle of “equal wages for equal work” could finally be laid out as a fundamental right in the EU Treaties. The European Union is built upon four freedoms: the free movement of people, capital, services and goods but, as Mr Vona pointed out, the movement of hundred thousands of Hungarian youth to Western Europe was not a free but a forced one because Eastern Central European member states had completely fallen behind the western half of the continent in terms of wages. Jobbik’s Prime Minister candidate is fully aware that the wage union is a complex issue and his party is facing a very hard struggle but the first step needs to be taken for a goal that benefits Western Europe as well.

“We must start an honest discussion about this issue and find the solutions that could turn Europe into a community with true solidarity and fairness to all of its citizens,” he asserted. Explaining the pre-conditions for wage gaps to be reduced, he said we needed competitive Hungarian enterprises, for which we needed a new European cohesion policy, for which we basically needed a new kind of European Union. In Mr Vona’s view, this is the point where the difference between Jobbik and Fidesz is shown: while the current government runs outdoor media campaigns to send messages to Brussels, Jobbik wishes to participate in the real, constructive debates on the future of the European Union.

“Instead of Viktor Orbán’s manipulative freedom fights, we want to conduct real, constructive and honest debates in which we represent our nation’s interest but we feel we represent the interest of a stronger Europe, too,” concluded Jobbik’s Prime Minister candidate by outlining a core value of his party’s foreign policy.

 

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