As I see it Fidesz's relation to the Hungarian far-right is getting increasingly tangled. On the one hand, Viktor Orbán wants to avoid the impression that he is too close to Jobbik while, on the other hand, he wishes to satisfy those among his supporters who would like to hear stronger words from him resembling the verbiage of Gábor Vona and Krisztina Morvai. Viktor Orbán is caught in the middle. Here are a few examples to prove my point from just the last week or so.
Let's start with Oscar Molnár, the infamous mayor of Edelény. Orbán held interviews on his country estate in Felcsút. He and his closest entourage picked 176 people to run in individual districts. Each of the hopefuls had to appear in front of the party chairman and answer certain questions. Weeks went by and Molnár wasn't called.
When Orbán was first asked about "Oszi" Molnár's chances, he claimed that the decision about his candidacy had nothing to do with him. It will be decided by the locals. Well, Molnár got all excited, and he received the unanimous endorsement from the local Fidesz bodies. How uncomfortable. At this point Orbán was in a bind about what to do. Surely, he could not allow Molnár to run on the Fidesz ticket. On the other hand, he would have to go against his earlier insistence that the decision lay with the local party organizations. So, he looked like a liar. Very uncomfortable for a man "who never lied" in his life. The very last pilgrim to Felcsút made an appearance and no "Oszi." Moreover, the announcement came that in Molnár's old district the local medical center's director, Dr. Pierre Daher, would be Fidesz's candidate. If one wonders why the good doctor's name doesn't sound very Hungarian, it is because Daher is of Lebanese origin. Until now Oszi and Pierre were the best of friends and Molnár was slated to be the godfather of Daher's son. Molnár immediately announced that he will run as an independent and he is sure that he will beat Daher. I have the feeling that he will. I'm also almost certain that Molnár will not remain an independent for too long and that we will meet him again next year in the Jobbik parliamentary delegation.
That was not the end of Orbán's problems. Sándor Arnóth is also causing renewed difficulties. Perhaps some of you recall that in September 2008 Arnóth, mayor of Püspökladány and a brand new member of parliament who replaced József Pálinkás when he became president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, very loudly yelled to one of the undersecretaries: "You will hang!" Orbán acted immediately. Arnóth had to resign his seat right then and there. Details can be found in "Fidesz political culture and its consequences" (September 30, 2008). Therefore, great was the surprise when Arnóth's name appeared among the chosen 176. When asked about it, Orbán's faithful spokesman Péter Szijjártó informed the inquiring reporters that the party had no choice. Arnóth's local supporters wanted him to run. Hmm? Locals decide about Arnóth, but local supporters have no say in the nomination of Molnár? How can that be? A little more logic would be in order.
But Arnóth is accident prone. Not long ago a video appeared on YouTube on which it can be clearly heard that the mayor of Püspökladány has a very low opinion of Gypsies who don't want to work. He also muttered something about good "genes" that are lacking in Gypsies and that he can't plant into them. The video is short. (Although Typepad claims that I could actually place a video right into the text that is not true. I'm also unable to place pictures into the text today. I tried it once and I lost half of my written text.) If I had to predict, I think Arnóth will remain on the list especially since he steadfastly maintains that the video is a forgery!
Then there is Zsolt Páva whom I consider to be a loose cannon. While his boss is trying to distance himself from Jobbik that he called a "party of violence," Páva welcomed uniformed members of the Hungarian Guard on the top of Tubes. The guardsmen came to "defend the Tubes" and offered their assistance. Páva instead of telling them to get lost, to get rid of their illegal uniforms, welcomed them saying "let's defend our mountain together." An interesting bunch of people: representatives of the far-right Hungarian Guard, a Fidesz mayor, and an MSZP member of parliament. Together they are ignoring the law of the land.