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Tag: Our Homeland

Medián: Far-Right Our Homeland Now the Biggest Opposition Party

Median’s first opinion poll after the election on party preferences showed some remarkable results. The HVG-commissioned poll showed the governing Fidesz-KDNP coalition at 54% support, slightly higher than the 52% their party list received in the election, while the opposition stood at 34%, a decrease compared to their joint party list result of 36%.

Fidesz’s lead expanded to 57%, however, when respondents were asked which party they would vote for in “a soon-to-be-held election.”

But Our Homeland experienced a similar growth in support: after winning 5.88% of the party list vote, the far-right upstart party won over 9% of eligible voters, 8% of voters who have chosen a specific party, and 8% of the total voting population.

Support for Our Homeland among the entire population is just 1% higher than that of the Democratic Coalition, and 2% ahead of Momentum’s 6% support, although these differences are still within the margin of error. In addition, Our Homeland President László Toroczkai is the third-most popular politician among the entire voting population.

Medián notes that the phenomenon of Our Homeland’s rise is very similar to what was seen after Jobbik’s result in the 2009 European elections. At that time, Jobbik gained popularity after passing a certain threshold of support, as more people began to find it acceptable to openly express their sympathy for the formerly far-right party. [444]

Our Homeland President Doesn’t Support Oil Embargo Either

In Parliament today, Our Homeland President László Toroczkai said that Hungary’s territorial integrity and interests were of vital importance, reports Index.

Toroczkai stated that Our Homeland supported all steps that reject the embargo, and they reject all sanctions that are harmful to the Hungarian people.

He also said that the United States was at war with Russia, and that the party wants the Hungarian government to stand up even more firmly for the interests of ethnic Hungarians in the Transcarpathian region. [Index]

Our Homeland Forms Parliamentary Caucus

The Our Homeland Movement has formed a six-member parliamentary caucus, choosing party President László Toroczkai as their leader, reported MTI after the party’s press conference on Wednesday.

Our Homeland’s MPs have chosen István Apáti and Előd Novák as deputy group leaders, both of whom have previous experience in Parliament. [Index]

Budapest Pride Unswayed by Not Being Able to March Down Andrássy

Budapest Pride reacted to the news that the far-right Our Homeland party had reserved Budapest’s Andrássy Avenue and other public spaces on July 23, thereby depriving the march from its traditional route down the capital’s grandest boulevard.

Organizers wrote that this year “will be bigger than before, and we’ll have more events than ever before. We’re going to have surprises and thrills that’ll make your jaw drop.”

“Our movement won’t give up, and our community is too strong and cohesive than to be bullied or intimidated,” they wrote.

The organizers added that tens of thousands of people will be marching for LGBTQ rights this year, because “the LGBTQ movement is not about streets, but people who freely and happily want to live in Hungary.” [HVG]

Our Homeland Reserves Andrássy Ave, Depriving It from Budapest Pride March

The Our Homeland Movement again managed to reserve Andrássy Avenue and surrounding areas on July 23, the party wrote in a statement, thereby depriving Budapest Pride march from using Budapest’s grandest boulevard.

Together with other groups associated with the far-right political party, Our Homeland put in a request to reserve the location at the absolute earliest moment, at midnight on Saturday, which was then granted by Budapest Police.

Last year, Pride organizers also had to re-route their march because of Our Homeland. [444]

Rejecting complaint by Our Homeland, Curia finalizes election results

picture of Hungarian Curia

The results of the April 3 parliamentary election were officially finalized yesterday when Hungary’s highest court, the Curia, rejected an appeal by the Our Homeland Movement against a ruling on the results of the national list. The results of the individual electoral districts had previously been declared official on April 12.

Our Homeland challenged Thursday’s decision by the National Election Commission (NVB) on the national list results within a day, as given by law. However, the Curia rejected the party’s request to recount the mail-in ballots on the following grounds:

The result of the national list vote is an aggregation of the partial results that have already become final, so its individual parts themselves are no longer subject to debate. They can only be challenged on the basis of an infringement committed when the votes were counted or mandates allocated.

The Curia also rejected a request by Our Homeland to change the NVB resolution, stating that although the request complained of a procedural violation by the National Election Office (NVI), an independent legal remedy is contained in the Electoral Procudure Act that the complainant did not exhaust.

[Népszava][Photo: kuria-birosag.hu]

Final election results: Fidesz – 135 seats, United for Hungary – 57, Our Homeland – 6

image of mandate distribution in Hungarian Parliament

The new composition of Parliament has been finalized after counting all of the mail-in ballots, “transfer” absentee ballots within the country, and absentee ballots cast at Hungarian consulates abroad.

Based on data from the National Election Office (NVI), more than 3 million people voted for the ruling Fidesz-KDNP ticket. Over 264,000 mail-in ballots were received, with close to 94% of those going to the governing parties.

As counting was finalized yesterday, the number of parliamentary mandates for each bloc shifted several times, but Fidesz’s two-thirds majority in the National Assembly was not affected.

As previously reported, the united opposition was given two extra seats, one on the party list and one in an individual electoral district.

But Fidesz-KDNP also gained an extra mandate from its party list, taking away a seat from the far-right Our Homeland Movement. With 99% of the vote counted yesterday, NVI reduced Our Homeland’s presence in Parliament from seven seats to six.

Our Homeland was not pleased at the last-minute loss of a seat, and reacted by demanding a recount of the votes. The party claims that the proportion of fractional votes grew for the Fidesz list by just a small number of votes after the reversal of a result in a single electoral district

The party was presumably referring to the victory of opposition candidate Zoltán Vajda in Budapest’s District XVI, who was behind his Fidesz challenger by 38 votes before the weekend, but ended up with a 500-vote lead when all votes were counted yesterday.

We can say that the seventh mandate was taken from Our Homeland based on only 48 (!) votes. In view of the fact that a bagful of half-destroyed ballots was found in Târgu Mureş [Romania], and in Vojvodina [Serbia], where VMSZ [Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians] activists, who have close ties with Fidesz, delivered ballots of those entitled to vote in the election without getting an acknowledgement of receipt, we do not accept the present situation until an examination is completed.

-wrote Our Homeland President László Toroczkai in a statement.

The final distribution of seats in the next Parliament is the following:

  • Fidesz-KNDP: 135 seats (47 from party list, 87 from individual electoral districts)
  • Opposition alliance: 57 seats (38 list, 19 individual)
  • Our Homeland: 6 seats (all from party list)
  • Nationality representative (German minority): 1 seat

[Telex, Telex][Image: valasztas.hu]

Far-right Our Homeland open to working with Fidesz in Parliament

picture of Dóra Dúró

Dóra Dúró, Vice-President of Our Homeland (pictured), gave an interview to Blikk, where she talked about the seven new seats the party won in the parliamentary elections last weekend. Dúró claimed that they were confident the whole time that Our Homeland would get into Parliament.

It’s a huge victory, because we achieved it without any public financing.

-she told the tabloid. Dúró said that the idea of uniting voters through the joint opposition structure had failed. As she concluded:

This therefore means building a new opposition, in which Our Homeland will play a key role.

When asked if there could be situations in which they would cooperate with the governing parties, Dúró answered that she could imagine certain situations in which it would happen:

It may be possible with certain cases and laws, but, in every situation, we will examine whether it is good for the Hungarian community or not. If yes, we will vote for it with a pure heart, even if the government has initiated it. I myself marked four ‘no’ votes on the government’s child protection referendum, because this was a cause I could get behind.

-the Vice-President of Our Homeland told Blikk.

For his part, Our Homeland President László Toroczkai repeated on state-run television station M1 on Tuesday morning what he had told ATV’s Egyenes Beszéd program on Monday evening, that the Our Homeland Movement would be a fierce and very strong opponent to the government.

Toroczkai claimed that “shocking” silence and censorship surrounded the party’s campaign, mentioning Facebook deleting their page and cyberattacks on their website as examples.

So I could on and on about how they tried to prevent us from getting into Parliament.

-said László Toroczkai, adding:

We are a completely new kind of party, and I think we will bring new color to Parliament’s activities. I think there was a huge need for a party that does not work like Fidesz or these left-liberal parties.

Toroczkai stressed that the most important thing was that Hungary gets better, so he imagines Our Homeland MPs providing support for all proposals that are “good” for the country and for Hungarians.

Our Homeland will enter Parliament well above the 5% minimum, having captured 6.3% of the party list vote share with over 310,000 votes on the second ballot. If the six-party democratic opposition can be considered as a single bloc, then the far-right Our Homeland will be the third-largest political force in the National Assembly.

[Telex]

Előd Novák: only Our Homeland represents the interests of six million Hungarians

picture of Előd Novák

Our Homeland Vice-Chair Előd Novák thinks it will be a minor miracle if the party manages to get into Parliament, but they believe that pollsters intentionally underestimate them.

Our Homeland is awaiting the election results at the Budapest Congress Center, which was planned began at 5:00pm. While there were no politicians there at that time, their MP Dóra Dúró arrived shortly thereafter, followed by her husband, Előd Novák, who stuck around for a bit longer. After setting up the stage, he answered a few questions for Azonnali.

Novák stated that people will be surprised when the results are released this evening, as he believes that polling companies deliberately underestimate Our Homeland’s support because of political pressure.

Even so, it’ll be a minor miracle if we get in [to Parliament].

-he said.

The right-wing politician complained that the party had to work against very strong headwinds, singling out Mediaworks as the main culprit. The government-friendly media holding company not only refused to let them appear in their numerous affiliates, but wouldn’t even permit them to run paid politicial advertisements.

In addition, media companies considered a part of Fidesz’s sphere of influence likewise blocked the party from appearing in their respective outlets.

Azonnali asked the former MP whether they had made a strategic mistake to campaign against the “Covid dictatorship” when more than 60% of the country has already been vaccinated, and when Fidesz had already relaxed most Covid-related restrictions before the elections.

We approached this issue from the standpoint of principle and conscience, not just so we could get votes. Although I would add that when the government announced that from February 15 even those who had received two shots would be considered ‘unvaccinated,’ and so declaring them second-class citizens, and presumably this is what we can expect in the fall as well, then we can say that it is only Our Homeland that is representing six million citizens.

-he stated.

Előd Novák believes that the elections caused Fidesz to begin to back down on the issue. Without a doubt, many people are now unsure whether they still needed to be concerned about the restrictions, but Novák maintains that that they should be.

The news site also asked Novák if the party’s presidency should resign if they aren’t able to get into Parliament tonight.

We haven’t addressed this issue yet, but I think that first of all, the heads of the polling companies are the ones who should be resigning. If, on the other hand, we end up with a disgraceful result, then we will have to consider the responsibility of the presidency as well, which will have to be decided on during our next party congress.

-he answered.

[Azonnali][Photo: Árpád Kulcsár / Azonnali]

Facebook deletes Our Homeland

picture of Mi Hazánk flag

Facebook deleted the page for far-right Hungarian party Our Country Movement in the last week before the election, announced MP and party vice-chair Dóra Dúró in a video uploaded to her Facebook page.

Dúró said that by taking this action, Facebook was intervening in the outcome of Hungary’s parliamentary elections. The party was not even notified that the site had been blocked, she said. Instead, they simply noticed that it was no longer accessible.

Our Homeland’s Facebook page had reached half a million people in the past month, she also stated.

Dóra Dúró said that Facebook had informed them that the party had violated its community principles, but the social media company did not point to any specific post or content in this regard.

The politician vowed to refer the matter to the National Election Commission, and said they would be reporting that a crime had been committed against the regular administration of the election.

Our Homeland’s president, László Toroczkai, is already party to a lawsuit with Facebook in connection with the deletion of his social media page during the European Parliament election campaign. Dúró claimed that a first-instance verdict on the matter may be announced next week.

[HVG]

Opposition will find it harder to form government if Our Homeland gets into Parliament

picture of demonstrators

A government led by either Fidesz or the united opposition would face difficulties if the far-right Our Homeland Movement manages to get representation in Parliament, concludes think tank 21 Research Center in its latest study.

If the party of László Toroczkai can win 4-5 mandates in the National Assembly, then the united opposition forces would have to beat Fidesz by at least 5 percentage points to form a new government, they find.

But if the opposition coalition were to beat Fidesz by only 1-5% in this scenario, Our Homeland could hold the balance of power in Parliament. And if Fidesz wins the election outright or the opposition’s win is less than 1%, Fidesz could be expected to form a government again.

Incidentally, if Our Homeland does not get any seats in Parliament, 21 Research Center believes that United for Hungary opposition’s victory would have to be at least 3% over Fidesz in order for it to set up a new government, presumably due to built-in structural features in the current electoral system.

Although recent public opinion polls show that Our Homeland has not been able to reach the minimum 5% threshold to gain a parliamentary mandate on its party list, it has still been able to significantly increase its support over the past few months thanks to its anti-vaccination campaign.

Based on data from the Iránytű Institute from October-December last year, 21 Research Center found that:

  • There were many more men in Our Homeland (57%) than in the general population (47.5%)
  • Far fewer of them were over 65 (11%, compared to 30% in the general population), but they are particularly strong in the 40-49 age group
  • Only 14% of the party’s supporters have a higher education degree (compared to 21% of the total population)
  • 45% of their supporters work in skilled labor
  • Only 13% of their supporters are from Budapest, while 18% of the country lives in the capital.

55% of Our Homeland voters want to see a new government in power, but more prefer current Prime Minister Viktor Orbán over his challenger Péter Márki-Zay (by 37% to 23%). Recent polls appear to show that the party has managed to attract a greater number of voters sympathetic to the government in recent months.

One note of caution in interpreting the data is that since Our Homeland voters still make up a small proportion of the electorate, the statistical margin of error is higher than usual.

Toroczkai has already ruled out forming a coalition with either the opposition or Fidesz. However, 21 Research Center points out that in opposition-led municipalities, Our Homeland generally joins Fidesz in criticizing the local mayor, but tends to be on better terms with towns that have Fidesz leadership, citing examples in the towns of Dombóvár and Mezőkövesd.

[444]

Can Our Homeland find electoral success with a vaccine-skeptic message?

picture of protest announcement

The far-right Our Country Movement has changed its messaging: from tropes on security and policing typical of the extreme right to a focus on human rights, most notably in connection with coronavirus vaccinations. Azonnali asked analysts about the reasons for the shift, and if the party has a chance to win seats in the parliamentary elections this year.

Our Homeland held an anti-vaccine protest this past weekend without any talk of Gypsies or Jews, nor did any of the speakers at the event entertain participants with worldwide conspiracy theories targeting Hungarians.

In addition, as leaders Dóra Dúró, Előd Novák, and László Toroczkai, the party’s unvaccinated candidate for prime minister, stressed in their speeches on Sunday, they have no problem with voluntary vaccinations, but rather the “sneaky covid dictatorship.”

picture of Our Homeland protest
Előd Novák speaks at Our Homeland protest against the “covid dictatorship,” January 16, 2022

Thousands of people took part in the demonstration, marching with Our Homeland politicians from Akadémia Street to the State Secretariat for Education.

We certainly haven’t become more moderate, but now we see the development of the covid dictatorship as the biggest problem, the most important problem, so we’re mostly talking about that. But in this regard, we also mention that the Hungarian government represents the interests of multinational companies instead of the Hungarian people. This is also the case at the international level, so I can say that it’s an old topic, but unfortunately it has received new relevance.

-party MP Dóra Dúró told Azonnali when asked about the changes.

The “covid dictatorship” is the biggest problem in Hungary, according to the MP, who won her seat in 2018 while still a member of Jobbik. The party is proposing a “covid solidarity tax” on multinational companies in Hungary to benefit those who have experienced hardship due to the effects of covid-related economic measures.

They are also demanding the full disclosure of vaccine contracts to as a type of anti-globalization effort, to counter the economic interests of pharmaceutical companies profiting off of the coronavirus.

In other words, Dúró says, Our Homeland has changed its tone because the situation now demands this from the party.

Coronavirus offered a new political opening for Our Homeland

Some analysts, however, believe it is more of a conscious shift from the party.

The vaccination-critical, coronavirus-skeptical attitude of Our Country is not a new phenomenon in Europe at all. They’ve probably learned from far-right parties in Western Europe (such as the German AfD) that it’s worth focusing on the problematics related to managing the coronavirus pandemic.

-independent political analyst Tibor Attila Nagy told the news site.

Nagy believes that this is why the party revamped its messaging roughly a year ago and first began to criticize the shutdowns, then the government’s efforts to force the population to get vaccinated.

Nagy also felt that the party’s message was starting to get stale. As he put it:

In the years after it was formed, the party continued the original policy platform of Jobbik, but bringing the Roma issue to the fore did not cause as much excitement and notoriety as it did back in 2009-2010.

The coronavirus epidemic came at the best time for the party, because – like their Western European friends – they realized that it could be their chance for a big breakout. Their Sunday demonstration also proved this.

-noted the political analyst.

As a result, the party’s previous, classic far-right themes of anti-immigration, anti-globalization, and anti-multinationals have not been as prominent. The analyst stated that the Sunday demonstration “proves that Our Country wants to get into Parliament on the back of the Hungarian anti-vaccination vote.”

According to Tibor Attila Nagy, this political calculation could work out for them, as a good 30% of the Hungarian population still has not gotten any vaccine shots. Even if they can pick up just a small part of this large group of people, the party has a chance of passing the 5% threshold to get into Parliament.

Nagy believes that they have the chance to do so, adding that if Our Homeland does manage to get into Parliament, “they could even be kingmakers if the Fidesz-KDNP and the six-party opposition are roughly equal. If the balance of power is obvious, they could even create their own parliamentary caucus.”

[Azonnali]

Thousands attend Our Homeland anti-vaccine protest in Budapest

picture of Our Homeland protest

Far-right party Our Homeland Movement held a demonstration Sunday afternoon in downtown Budapest against the “covid dictatorship,” as they phrase it. The party held a similar event in November, with both demonstrations attracting a few thousand protesters.

The party protested mandatory vaccinations in Hungary, despite the fact that such mandates are already quite uncommon in Hungary, as well as policies requiring children to be vaccinated.

They also expressed their opposition to the government’s announcement on Thursday that the official “protection card” will become a “vaccination card” on February 15, meaning that it will only be valid for those who have received three vaccine shots, or gotten the second shot within the past six months.

Party chairman László Toroczkai, who portrays himself as “Hungary’s only unvaccinated candidate for prime minister,” said that the party intends to increase its street resistance against “vaccine terror” until the April 3 elections.

[444][Photo: Mi Hazánk Mozgalom / Facebook]

Mother of Hungarian chess grandmaster running as far-right MP candidate

Telex reports that Julianna Lékó, mother of internationally-reknown chess grandmaster Péter Lékó, is running as the far-right Our Homeland party candidate in Csongrád-Csanád County’s first electoral district in next year’s elections.

The elder Lékó promises to “fight for the region’s inhabitants with the same ‘Mama Tiger’ vehemence” that she devoted to the education of her two sons as a single mother. The district encompasses part of the southern city of Szeged.