Parliamentary Speaker László Kövér fined Péter Jakab, president and group leader of opposition Jobbik, over HUF 9.6 million forints (EUR 27,560), equivalent to four months of his salary in a disciplinary procedure. This is the most severe penalty that has ever been imposed in Parliament.
During the parliamentary session on May 17th, Péter Jakab slammed the Orbán government for its handling of the coronavirus epidemic. In his speech the group leader of Jobbik insultingly called ruling Fidesz lawmakers and specifically speaker László Kövér, ‘toffs’ (ficsúr) – a pejorative term used for the wealthy.
For the violation of house rules, Kövér silenced Jakab, then warned him that there would be consequences to his actions.
The Jobbik politician was eventually fined HUF 9.6 million (EUR 27,560) for the insult (35 times the net monthly average income in Hungary), the highest penalty ever imposed in the National Assembly of Hungary, Jakab announced last Friday on social media.
“Now we know the value of the word ‘ficsúr’ when it is used for a Fidesz politician. Get ready. It is nearly ten million [forints],” he wrote on Facebook. In a later post Jakab asked his supporters to help pay the fine.
This is not the first time Jakab received an enormous fine from László Kövér. Last year the Jobbik politician was penalized for HUF 4.4 million (EUR 12,000) after he wanted to put a bag of potatoes on the table for Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in parliament.
Also, just over a month ago, the speaker imposed a similarly hefty HUF 8.2 million (EUR 22,370) fine to Bence Tordai, deputy of opposition Párbeszéd, after he blocked Finance Minister Mihály Varga when he wanted to return to his seat in the assembly.
The opposition parties have long been complaining that the speaker, who is also a member of the ruling party, only punishes their politicians, while Fidesz MPs do not have to fear any punishment despite using the same kind of derogatory language toward their political opponents.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, for example, had called Gábor Vona, the former president of Jobbik, “zsúrpubi,” which is a harsher synonym of the word Jakab was given the unprecedentedly large fine for.
Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI