Jobbik MP Bencsik Quits Party after Disagreement with New President
Ábrahám Vass 2020.02.20.
MP and Jobbik’s Budapest president János Bencsik, in a Facebook message on Wednesday announced to quit the party and its parliamentary group, as he disagrees with the path that the new presidency has taken.
Bencsik, who won his parliamentary seat from Jobbik’s national party list, said he considered it “unacceptable” that Jobbik had become “a party without a face of its own, that is ashamed of its right-wing positions.” In Bencsik’s view, at Jobbik’s January internal election congress, new president Jakab and vice president Márton Gyöngyösi proclaimed a “political revenge campaign” against “those who hadn’t backed their team.”
Bencsik also said that he considered the policies pursued by the new party leader “…morally unacceptable and fatal when it comes to Jobbik’s future.” He claimed another reason for his departure was Jakab’s alleged insistence that Jobbik no longer had a use for “divisive” topics covering policies for Hungarians beyond the borders or remembrance policy, “…which hinders the appeasement of left-wing voters.”
About his timing, Bencsik revealed that “as a responsible opposition MP, I waited [with the announcement] until now because I didn’t want the one-party-state media to get hold of the case and weaken the chances of the opposition cooperation and that of Gergely Kálló in Dunaújváros.”
Bencsik’s departure comes on the heels of another turbulent event within the ranks of the formerly radical party, which is struggling to move towards the center and get rid of its most extreme elements and members. After Jakab was elected party leader at the end of January, analysts agreed that he had an incontestable victory, as only his allies have been elected vice-presidents, for example. He, however speculated that certain people stabbed him in the back by revoking his veto rights days before the congress, after listing who he can trust and who he can’t in the party.
According to a statement issued after the politician’s announcement, Jobbik’s presidency acknowledged János Bencsik’s decision. “As Péter Jakab said in his congressional speech, there would be some who would take a different path. Jobbik will go on to carry the flag in order to liberate Hungary from the Orbán regime in 2022. We wish János Bencsik good luck and leave the fate of his [parliamentary] mandate to his conscience,” the communique concludes.
Government-critical ‘Magyar Hang’ contacted the two other Jobbik MPs mentioned by Jakab. Andrea Varga-Damm and János Stummer, however, claimed they don’t intend to leave the party and the parliamentary faction.