Jobbik praises Hitler ally ahead of vote

By Valentina Jovanovski, April 3, 2014

Just days before a national election, a far-right Hungarian MP has labelled the era of Miklos Horthy - who led the country from 1920-1944 and was an ally of Adolf Hitler - as "highly successful".

A statue of Horthy, who was in power when over 400,000 Jews were deported, was unveiled at a church in Budapest last year.

Jobbik MP Marton Gyongyosi said at a press conference that Horthy's rule was "the last era when Hungary was sovereign and independent", referring to his attempts to reclaim Hungarian land and population lost in a post-First World War treaty.

He made no mention of Horthy's participation in the Holocaust.

Asked what the Jewish community could expect if Jobbik is successful in Sunday's election, Mr Gyongyosi said: "We do not divide the country and the country's society on the basis of racial grounds or religious grounds or whatever other grounds.

"We divide the country into those who are here to be of some benefit to the community and those who have negative intentions or destructive intentions."

Latest polls give Jobbik 12 to 15 per cent of the vote, just a few points behind the main left-wing opposition alliance, which has been struggling to make any headway against the ruling Fidesz party. Fidesz has a substantial lead on all parties.

Last updated: 4:21pm, April 4 2014