László Kövér’s analysis of the Hungarian political situation

I wrote almost a year ago twice at length about László Kövér, the second or perhaps, according to some, the first man of Fidesz. First on January 15, 2009 when I gave some background about his family, his upbringing, and his political beliefs. A day later, on January 16, I summarized a speech he gave in Makó, a town in southern Hungary. It was a pretty outrageous speech but Kövér is known for making intemperate speeches. Often he doesn't stick to the "official" party line and, because of the high position he occupies in Fidesz, commentators are often confused about the meaning of his contrary opinions.

Just lately, there were two subjects where Kövér's opinions differed from the Orbán-Semjén-Navracsics line. One was the question of dual citizenship which the Fidesz parliamentary delegation presented for consideration in the House. Kövér thought that Fidesz shouldn't even touch the question. He later explained his opposition by claiming that there could have been only two kinds of MSZP responses to the proposition. Either the socialists embrace it and then it will be considered a plus for MSZP by showing the socialists' patriotic side or they will pose difficulties and then Fidesz might look bad as wanting dual citizenship only for political gain. In either case it would be disadvantageous to Fidesz, he concluded. 

The other is a much more forceful rejection of Jobbik and its ideology than Viktor Orbán has offered. It is true that a couple of weeks ago Orbán called Jobbik a "party of violence," but at the same time there are signs that Fidesz hasn't given up its quest to court potential Jobbik voters by using rhetoric to their liking. Kövér began his anti-Jobbik campaign much earlier and much more forcefully than others in his party.

Already in his infamous Makó speech he accused Jobbik of being the creation of MSZP, a suggestion Jobbik vehemently denied. The MSZP politicians just laughed and called the claim ridiculous. After all, they said, everybody knows that Viktor Orbán was Gábor Vona's patron and the promoter of Jobbik. But Kövér doesn't seem to be able to escape the conclusion that somehow these two parties are in cohoots. Together they want to destroy Fidesz. He is certain that there is a "latent division of labor" between the two. (See Magyar Nemzet, December 28). If one party is unable to ruin the Fidesz candidates and the party leadership then the other will be called upon to do the dirty work. The munition for this immoral game comes from MSZP, a party that realized that it is more credible if the slander comes from the right instead of from their own media.

As far as MSZP media is concerned, by now Fidesz rules the print and electronic media so MSZP doesn't have a prominent venue to propagate this "slander". As for MSZP's employing Jobbik in order to ruin Fidesz, it is too ridiculous even to contemplate. However, I'm sure that Kövér actually believes this fairy tale. If so, this may indicate that Fidesz is more worried about Jobbik than other leading members of his party would lead one to believe.

Orbán, Kövér, and the rest claim that Fidesz will never form a coalition with Jobbik in order to achieve the much desired two-thirds majority. I have the feeling that they are telling the truth because they will not need a formal arrangement. It will be enough to have Jobbik's outside support for introducing some basic changes that at the moment need the two-thirds majority. One is less sure of a possible coalition between Fidesz and Jobbik if it were necessary to form a government. However, it's impossible to predict the balance of forces in five or six months' time. One thing is sure: it would be very difficult for Orbán to have a formal arrangement with Jobbik because of Jobbik's reputation in Europe. If there is no clear Fidesz majority, Orbán's party will be in a bind. Perhaps this is what Kövér is talking about when he mentions the difficult situation of Fidesz in the next parliament. Being in the crossfire between the left and the extreme right.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Speaking of analyses of the Hungarian political situation, I wonder if you have seen the poster entitled “kuruc.infant” by Turai Balázs. I think it sums up the worldview of the Hungarian extreme right rather well.
I noticed it being prominently displayed at Nyugati station the other day. A little searching on the internet (to find out the title, as it wasn’t clear from the poster) also revealed some comments on it – and I was astounded how many of them managed to miss the blatant irony of the piece completely.

Sackhoes Contributor

I believe you meant to write Laszlo Kover, not Janos.