Péter Jakab, former leader of the nationalist Jobbik (The Right One) party has resigned yesterday during an emergency party committee meeting in Budapest.
The former party leader made an announcement in a Facebook post on Wednesday evening, stating that Jobbik’s members elected him as the party’s chairman on May 7th by a majority of more than 70 percent, however, “all in vain. It has now become clear that the new leadership does not want to follow the path of the membership, they do not provide me with the majority to make the necessary decisions, and they have taken the leadership of Jobbik out of my hands,” wrote Jakab. “Today I am resigning from my position as president of Jobbik. I will fight Fidesz any time, but I will not fight Jobbik,” concluded the politician.
Most observers agree that there is no single reason for the former Jobbik leader’s decision. Among his most recent scandals are allegations of a sexual assault against one of his closest allies that was allegedly swept under the carpet pre-elections, in order to spare the party any embarrassment. Many agree though that his decision to join an awkward pre-election coalition with a string of left-wing parties have caused an outcry among its traditionally right-wing core electorate. This has brought about a split in the party, and the resulting new political formation, Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland) have done relatively well in the polls, entering parliament in 2022 with six new MPs. Jobbik have, on the other hand shrunk from winning 26 seats in 2018 to only nine in April 2022. Jakab remains the leader of his party’s parliamentary fraction, and it would be too early to regard him as a spent force in Hungarian politics. However, it is clear that his authority had suffered among party loyalists, and a new leadership election is likely to cement his place in the back-benches.
Featured image: Péter Jakab, who has resigned his post as the leader of the Jobbik Party. Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI